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India changes rules along LAC after Galwan clash, soldiers ‘can use firearms in extraordinary situations’

As per the new Rules of Engagement, commanders deployed at LAC can give soldiers ‘complete freedom of action’ to handle situations at the tactical level.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Government of India has changed the Rules of Engagement (RoE) across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after the unprecedented violent clash at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh with the Chinese troops that left 20 Indian soldiers dead and several injured.

During the clash on the night on June 15, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army also took 10 Indian Armymen including officers, into custody and released them after three days following military-level talks.

As per reports, Indian soldiers did not use weapons when the PLA troops attacked them. They were not allowed to do so as per the orders from their seniors and the confidence building measures pacts with China.

As per the new Rules of Engagement, commanders deployed at LAC can give soldiers “complete freedom of action” to handle situations at the tactical level. The commanders can now use firearms and have full authority to respond to extraordinary situations using all resources at their disposal.

Earlier, these were not part of the Rules of Engagements across the LAC.

This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at an all-party meeting on Friday, said that his Government has given the armed forces full freedom to take any necessary action.

He stressed that “India wants peace and friendship, but the issue of its sovereignty is supreme”, noting that all participants in the meeting had expressed the same sentiments.

“While on one hand, we have allowed the defence forces to take whatever steps they may deem fit, on the other hand, we have also conveyed our resolve to China through diplomatic means. It is definite that whatever happened on the LAC has shocked and enraged the entire nation,” PM Modi said.

In a statement issued, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that India would respond firmly to any attempt to transgress the LAC.

“In fact, he specifically emphasised that in contrast to the past neglect of such challenges, Indian forces now decisively counter any violation of LAC (‘unhe rokte hain, unhe tokte hain’),” a statement issued by the PMO stated.

The words of Prime Minister — “those who tried to transgress our land were taught a befitting lesson by our brave sons of soil” — succinctly summed up the ethos and the values of the armed forces.

PM Modi further emphasised, “I want to assure you that our armed forces will leave no stone unturned to protect our borders.”

According to an AFP report, the soldiers were not shot but were killed in hand-to-hand combat on Indian territory. The soldiers threw punches and stones at each other and the Chinese troops allegedly used rods and nail-studded clubs during the fight that lasted for hours until midnight on Monday.

As per reports, around 120 Indian soldiers were trapped and encircled by Chinese troops and thereafter savagely beaten, many to the point of mutilation.

China is also said to have used thermal imaging drones to trace the Indian soldiers scattered on the treacherous terrain before brutally attacking them.