PM reaches Ladakh on surprise visit

NEW DELHI, Jul 3 (Agencies) : New Delhi: Days after a violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in East Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reached Leh with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat.
Modi reached Leh around 9.30 am, sources said.
The prime minister is presently at one of the forward locations in Nimu and is interacting with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP, official sources said.
He is due to go to a military hospital in nearby Leh to meet soldiers injured in the hand-to-hand skirmish, a security source told agency.
Located at 11,000 feet, Nimu is among the toughest terrains, on the banks of river Indus and surrounded by the Zanskar range.
Reacting to PM’s visit to Ladakh, a rattled China urged restraint from India. “India and China are in communication and negotiations on lowering the temperatures through military and diplomatic channels. No party should engage in any action that may escalate the situation at this point,” Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, was quoted by news agency as saying.
In his monthly “Mann ki Baat” radio address on Sunday, the prime minister had asserted that India has given a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on its territory in Ladakh.
He had said while the country honours the spirit of friendship, it is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary.
Paying tributes to the 20 Army men killed in the violent stand-off, Modi had also said India’s brave soldiers have shown that they will not allow the nation’s pride to be hurt.

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