Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday accused the Indian government of abrogating Article 370, which made Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India without any riders attached, so that it can “gift territory to China”.
Illegal abrogation of Article 370 was done to take over land & disempower locals. Today China has grabbed Galwan valley & GOI isnt even acknowledging it. Was J&K dismembered to gift territory to China?— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) June 19, 2020
Mufti accused that the abrogation of Article 370 was “illegal” and was done to “disempower locals”. She further accused that China has “grabbed” Galwan Valley and the government of India is not acknowledging it. She then questioned whether the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two union territories done so that it can “gift territory to China”.
Her accusations came hours after Prime Minister Modi assured that no land is lost in the violent face-off with China in Galwan Valley in Ladakh. PM Modi on Friday issued a stern message to neighbouring China saying that India wants peace and friendship but it won’t compromise on its sovereignty.
He also asserted that there has been no intrusion by the Chinese soldiers in the Indian territory. “No one entered Indian territory, nor were Indian posts taken over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an all-party meeting this evening to discuss the Ladakh clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. “20 jawans did die, but they taught a lesson to those who had cast their evil eyes on Bharat Mata (India),” PM Modi said.
Mufti is one of the last mainstream politicians in Kashmir who has been booked and detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) since August 2019 after the abrogation of Article 370. Former J&K Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah, who were also detained, were released in March this year.
Violent clashes between India and China in Galwan Valley
At least 20 Indian soldiers, including Commanding Officer, had attained martyrdom in the violent clashes with the Chinese troopers in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, the Indian Army said on Tuesday. The Army had initially claimed that 3 soldiers, including one Commanding Officer, were killed in the skirmishes but later in the evening it revised the figure to 20 saying 17 others had succumbed to their injuries due to the prolonged exposure to sub-zero temperatures.
Though Beijing remained reticent on the number of casualties suffered by it, the Indian Government said that the Chinese side endured heavy casualties with close to 43-45 PLA soldiers been seriously injured or killed in the clashes. Now, a US intel report has stated that at least 35 Chinese soldiers have perished in the brawl at the Galwan Valley.
The killing of the Indian soldiers marks the Indian Army’s worst losses since the Kargil War in 1999 and signifies the most intense military combat between India and China since 1967 when about 80 Indian soldiers and at least 300 Chinese PLA troops were killed in the course of the savage skirmishes that broke out near the Nathu La and Cho Lo passes, the strategic gateway to the crucial Chumbi valley.