India awaits Modi's response to China after 20 killed in border clash

India awaits Modi's response to China after 20 killed in border clash

India has impatiently waited for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's response to the death of not less than 20 soldiers in a border clash with Chinese troops.

Media and political rivals in India on Wednesday 17 June, 2020 expressed their annoyance and provocation over Modi's silence on India-China border clash.

China said it did not wish for any more clashes on the disputed border with India after Monday's violence.

Foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, exonerated China from the cause of the clash and said situation is largely under control at the border.

Indian officials said no fire was shot, but soldiers were hit with clubs and stones during a quarrel that broke out between the two sides in the remote Galwan Valley, high in the mountains where India's Ladakh region borders China's Aksai Chin to the east.

India's foreign ministry said there had been casualties on both sides, but China is yet to disclose any casualties so far.

One Indian government source reported that a colonel was among the soldiers who died at the border in freezing temperatures.

Modi discussed with his defence and and foreign ministers as well as the military chiefs on Tuesday 16 June, 2020, but he had not spoken publicly on the worst clash between the two countries since 1967.

Modi came into power for second term in 2019 following a campaign focused on national security consequent upon growing tensions with the old enemy Pakistan on India's western border.

Times of India recently wrote in one of its most provoked editorials that "China pushed too hard" and "India must push back". 

"Beijing can't kill our soldiers at the border and expect to benefit from our huge market," it continued, calling for sanctions against Chinese imports.

Despite all the clamour for Modi's actionable response over the past day, no public comment from Delhi has been made on the seemingly greatest challenge on foreign policy since inception of Modi led government.

Leader of the opposition Congress party Rahul Gandhi has questioned the Prime Minister over his silence on the border matter, which has lingered on since early May.

"Why is the PM silent? Enough is enough, we need to know what happened. How dare China kill our soldiers, how dare they take our land," Rahul said.

India says China troops have intruded into its controlled part of the border while China rejects the allegation.

China claims ownership of the territory and insists that India will not build roads in the disputed area.