New Delhi: Calling the government’s response to reports of a bridge being built at Pangong Tso “timid and docile”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said national security is “non-negotiable”.
“China builds the 1st bridge on Pangong. GOI: We are monitoring the situation. China builds the 2nd bridge on Pangong. GOI: We are monitoring the situation,” Rahul Gandhi said in a Tweet.
“India’s National security and territorial integrity is non-negotiable. A timid and docile response won’t do. The PM must defend the nation,” he said.
Party spokesperson Pawan Khera meanwhile said the statement of the External Affairs Ministry on the issue was “contradictory” and demanded for a clarification from the government.
“The comment coming from the Ministry of External Affairs that they have felt the mentioned area was occupied by China creates a situation of confusion,” Khera said.
“China is trespassing and violating the ceasefire agreement. It appears that the only agenda of the Ministry is to protect the image of the PM. We want an immediate clarification from the government of India on the statement issued by MEA on China on Thursday,” he said.
As per satellite imagery, China is building a second bridge at Pangong Tso on their side. MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said on Friday that he is aware of the reports.
“I have seen reports about the bridge. This is a military issue, I will not be able to comment on it or on where it’s exactly located. And as we have said, we believe the entire area is the occupied area,” Bagchi said.
“The Ministry of Defence will be able to tell you better its details and its implications. But if there is anything else to share, we will tell you. We have also seen the media reports and other reports,” he said.
Damien Symon, a geospatial intelligence researcher posted satellite images of the said new construction on Twitter.
“Continued monitoring of the bridge construction at PangongTso shows the further development on site, new activity shows a larger bridge being developed parallel to the first. likely in order to support larger/heavier movement over the lake,” he said in a tweet.
Earlier this year in January, satellite images had shown that China was building a bridge in Eastern Ladakh connecting the North and South Banks of Pangong Tso.