Watch: Rahul Says China Holds 2000 Sq Km in Ladakh, Asks Home Minister to Attempt Jammu to Kashmir Yatra


SRINAGAR: Asking Home Minister Amit Shah to opt for a Jammu to Srinagar yatra if the security situation has improved in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Chinese sitting on Indian land must be dealt with by the centre. He was speaking to the media in Srinagar after the conclusion of the 134-day-long yatra during which he addressed 15 news conferences.

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Rahul said a Ladakhi delegation clearly said that 2000 square km of the Indian Territory was taken by the Chinese.

“Government is under the impression that the Chinese have not taken any land from India. I recently met some ex-army people and even a delegation from Ladakh has clearly said that 2,000 sq km of Indian territory has been taken over by the Chinese,” Rahul said. “They also said that many patrolling points that used to be in India are now firmly in Chinese hands.”

Terming it “extremely dangerous”, Rahul said: “The approach Government is following by completely denying that the Chinese have taken our land is dangerous and it will give them more confidence to do more aggressive things. We have to deal with the Chinese firmly and tell them they are sitting on our land, won’t be tolerated.”

Asked about the situation on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir, Rahul Gandhi said he met people and is extremely unhappy.

“Target killing and bomb blasts are happening in Jammu and Kashmir and if the security situation has improved then the conversation the security personnel are having with me should not have been required,” Rahul said. “If the situation is so good why don’t the BJP people walk from Jammu to Lal Chowk? Why doesn’t Amit Shah walk from Jammu to Kashmir if the situation is so secure? I don’t think that argument holds.”

Congress has alleged a security lapse during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir. Earlier on Friday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that police arrangement “completely collapsed” during Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir and he had “to cancel” his walk.

Responding to a volley of several questions about Jammu and Kashmir, Rahul said the restoration of statehood should be the first step.

“Statehood and restoration of the democratic process is a fundamental and very important first step. The other steps will come later and I do not necessarily have to comment on it here,” he said. “All states have an assembly. The democratic process is the right of the people and it should be restored in Jammu and Kashmir. A solution should be found for the people of Ladakh as well.”

In response to a question about the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019, Rahul Gandhi said the Congress Working Committee has already made its stand clear on the issue. Notably, Article 370 granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked by the Modi government on August 5, 2019.


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