New Delhi: In a development that took everyone by surprise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday arrived in Leh, the joint-capital of Ladakh, to take stock of situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, there.Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: Amid Tensions With China, CDS General Bipin Rawat to Visit Leh Today
Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: Centre to Purchase Fighter Jets to Bolster Army; Air Force Says Will Enhance Operational Capabilities
Notably, the Prime Minister is accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, who was scheduled to visit the Leh-headquartered 14 Corps, which oversees the LAC. Army Chief General MM Naravene, too, is accompanying the PM. Also Read - India-China Standoff: Rajnath Singh Cancels Ladakh Trip, 'Waiting' For Chinese Military to Disengage
The visit comes after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was originally scheduled to visit Leh today with General MM Naravne, postponed it last evening in what was a last-minute development.
PM Modi’s visit took everyone completely off-guard as he did not give any indication to this effect; General Rawat was scheduled to be the sole visitor from Delhi today.
This is the Prime Minister’s first visit to Leh amid the ongoing standoff with China in Ladakh, where the two sets of troops have been engaged in a standoff since early May. However, in a violent turn of events, the Chinese troops ambushed their Indian counterparts on the night of June 15, resulting in 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel, losing their lives and 76 others sustaining injuries.
China, however, is yet to make public its casualty figures, though there are reports that it suffered more fatalities than the Indian side.