A Year Like No Other | June 2020

June Cover 2020June would remain etched in the memory of all Indians for years to come. Right in the middle of the year, on the night of June 15-16, 20 soldiers of the Indian Army, including the commanding officer of 16 Bihar, Col Bikkumalla Santosh Babu were killed by the PLA soldiers; and many were injured. No weapons were used—neither by the attackers nor the defenders—in deference to the unsaid code of conduct on the LAC, historically honoured by both sides since the signing of the Border Peace and Tranquillity Agreement in 1993.

The implements of attack were primitive, and well thought out: concertina wires wrapped around clubs and stones aided by aggressive jostling, shoving and pushing unsuspecting soldiers down the cliff into the icy stream. Indians assert that several PLA soldiers were killed too, but since China did not accept any number, the assertion remains just that.

Prime Minister Modi addressed the all-parties meeting on June 19 and made his now iconic statement—nobody has come into our territory. Nobody is on our territory and nobody has occupied any of our military posts. Though baffling for most, including the Indian Army, to the discerning, this was a well thought-through statement, by which Modi was seeking to resolve the Ladakh crisis. Only, China was not biting the bait. Hence, to teach China a lesson, government of India banned 59 Chinese Apps including TikTok, CamScanner, SHAREit, UC Browser and so on June 29.

Meanwhile, defence minister Rajnath Singh accompanied by defence secretary Ajay Kumar visited Moscow to attend the Victory Day parade marking 75 years of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. A tri-service contingent of the Indian armed forces participated in the parade. Interestingly, a Chinese contingent was also part of the victory march, but the twain did not meet. The minister also used the opportunity to get Russian support on the ongoing crisis with China.

Even as the nation was trying to come to terms with the shock in Ladakh, and what seemed like Prime Minister’s capitulation, the business of the state carried on as usual. Making good on the domicile rule passed in April, the Jammu-Kashmir administration granted domicile certificate to 25,000 people, mostly Hindu refugees from Pakistan who had settled in Jammu in the post-Partition decades. One Jammu and Kashmir cadre IAS officer from Bihar was also granted the domicile status.

In other news, on June 17, India won a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council to begin from 1 January 2021.

In FORCE: Another digital edition. The cover focus had to be China.


Rajnath Singh

Ajay Kumar


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A Year Like No Other
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