The Indian Ministry of Defence today said it was an unfortunate that many were casting aspersions on the treatment of soldiers who were injured in the 'violent face-off' with Chinese soldiers in Galwan Valley last month.
The clarification of the defence ministry came in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the General Hospital at Leh on Friday. According to the ministry, there were "malicious and unsubstantiated accusations in some quarters regarding the status of the facility."
"It is unfortunate that aspersions are being cast on how our brave Armed Forces are treated. The Armed Forces give the best possible treatment to their personnel," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement today.
The ministry also clarified that the said facility is "part of the Crisis Expansion capacity of 100 beds and is very much part of the General Hospital complex."
The wards that Modi visited were a part of the same complex and that Covid-19 protocol had necessitated some wards of the General Hospital to be converted into isolation facilities.
"Hence, this hall which otherwise was normally used as a Training Audio Video Hall was converted into a ward ever since the hospital was also designated as COVID treatment hospital," the statement added.
The soldiers who were injured in the violent confrontation with China on 15 and 16 June were kept in the make-shift ward since their arrival from Galwan to ensure quarantine from COVID areas. The Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane and the Army Commander have also visited the injured braves in the same location.
On Friday, as a part of PM Modi's surprise visit to Ladakh following tense border situation along the LAC with China, he interacted with the soldiers injured in the face-off. While interacting, Modi told them that their bravery will be a “source of inspiration for times to come" and added that 130 crore Indians are proud of them.
"Our country has never bowed down and will never bow down to any world power, and I am able to say this because of braves like you," the Prime Minister said while interacting with the injured soldiers.
"We will never bow down to any power of the world, said the Prime Minister in a veiled reference to China.
"I have come here to thank each one of you. Our India becomes self-reliant. Our country has never bowed down and will never bow down to any world power. I pay my respects to you as well as the mothers who gave birth to braves like you. Hope everyone gets well soon," he said.
In a massive escalation of India-China border tension, 20 Indian soldiers have been killed during a "violent face-off" with Chinese troops across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in sensitive Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on 15 June;s night, the Indian Army said.
"Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June. 17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20. Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation," Indian Army said in a statement.
Since then, India and China have been involved in talks to ease the ongoing border tensions since last month.
With inputs from agencies