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PMO clarifies Modi's LAC comments, harps at 'mischievous interpretation'

New Delhi: The government on Saturday said attempts are being made to give a "mischievous interpretation" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks at the recently concluded all-party meeting that no one has entered Indian territory or captured any military post while referring to the eastern Ladakh standoff.

A day after Modi's comments triggered massive criticism, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) issued a statement clarifying that his observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces, who foiled an attempt by Chinese troops to transgress into the Galwan Valley.

At the all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the situation along the India-China border, Modi said: "Na wahan koi hamari seema mein ghusa hua hai, na hi hamari koi post kisi dusre ke kabze mein hain (Neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured).

India lost 20 of its Army personnel, including a Colonel, in the violent face-off on the night of June 15/16 in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, the biggest confrontation between the militaries of India and China after 45 years.

Following Modi's comments, the Congress accused him of surrendering Indian territory to Chinese aggression.

Clarifying the remarks, the PMO said: "The Prime Minister paid glowing tributes to the valour and patriotism of our Armed Forces who repulsed the designs of the Chinese there. The Prime Minister's observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces."

"Attempts are being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation to remarks by the Prime Minister at the all-party meeting on Friday," it said.

It further added: "As regards the transgression of LAC, it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on June 15 arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions."

The PMO also maintained: "The sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day."

Meanwhile, India on Saturday, strongly rejected China's claim of sovereignty over Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, asserting that attempts by the Chinese side to "advance exaggerated and untenable" claims are not at all acceptable.

External Affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: "The position with regard to the Galwan Valley area has been historically clear. Attempts by the Chinese side to now advance exaggerated and untenable claims with regard to Line of Actual Control (LAC) there are not acceptable. They are not in accordance with China's own position in the past."

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