New Delhi: Union Minister G Kishan Reddy on Sunday paid tributes to Colonel B Santosh Babu, who was martyred along with 19 soldiers in last Monday’s clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, also remarking that ‘there is a need to voluntarily boycott Chinese products to the extent possible’, adding that ‘public in the country wants it’. Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: India, China to Hold Talks This Week, Centre Grants Emergency Financial Power to 3 Forces | Key Points

The minister also stressed that ‘the government has given ‘full freedom’ to the Army to deal with the Chinese’. Also Read - India-China Border Clash: Congress Slams PM on His 'no One Intruded Into Our Territory' Remark, Demands Explanation

Speaking to media, Reddy, the Minister of State For Home Affairs, said, “Taking into consideration the local situation, government has given full freedom to Indian Army on how to deal with China while protecting the Indian territory and the lives of the army personnel.” Also Read - India-China Border Fight: Defence Minister Meets Top Military Brass, 'Full Freedom' to Army to Give 'Befitting Reply'

“Public are expressing anti-China opinion all over the country by holding protests and also paying homage to the martyrs. There is a need to voluntarily boycott Chinese products to the extent possible. Public in the country wants that,” he further said.

Notably, in the wake of the June 15 incident, calls have been made to boycott Chinese products to ‘teach them a lesson’. The government has responded by cancelling contracts given to Chinese companies for various projects.

There have also been incidents of vandalism of shops selling Chinese products.

The June 15 incident between the two set of troops took place after over a month of simmering tensions in eastern Ladakh. Colonel Babu and his men were beaten to death by the Chinese but not before his men inflicted casualties on the Chinese side as well, in retaliation to his killing, as he was their Commanding Officer.

While the Indian side has already announced the names of its martyrs, the Chinese are yet to even officially acknowledge fatalities/injuries to their troops.

This was the first time since 1975 that lives were lost in an India-China border skirmish.