Why did Indian troops not open fire during violent Ladakh clash? Capt Amarinder Singh asks

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. (PTI)

Court-martial the officer who did not give orders to open fire at Chinese troops during the violent face-off on Monday night, Captain Amarinder Singh has said. The Punjab chief minister, who is a former military man, Captain Amarinder Singh said that he found it difficult to believe that Indian soldiers were carrying weapons and decided not to use them against the Chinese even after their commanding officer was killed.

Speaking to India Today TV’s Rajdeep Sardesai, a visibly angry and emotional Captain Amarinder Singh said if the soldiers were carrying weapons, as Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has said, then the army should court-martial the officer who became the in-charge after the colonel’s death and did not issue orders to open fire.

“First of all the statement that they were carrying arms has come after 48 hours. Secondly, when you see your commanding officer being killed, every soldier will pick up his weapon and open fire. I don’t believe this [that soldiers did not open fire despite having weapons],” Amarinder Singh said.

“If they were carrying weapons, as the government has said, then the number 2 officer, who became in-charge after the colonel went down and did not issue orders to open fire, should be court-marshaled,” Captain Amarinder Singh said.

Captain Amarinder Singh, who served in the army for 10 years, recalled an incident from the 1965 war when his regiment’s commanding officer was killed, “Let me tell you when my colonel went down in 1965, our entire regiment was enraged.”

Amarinder Singh, who has also served on the Chinese border during his time in the Army, said that when he went on the patrol with his regiment, they used to be fully armed.

“Right after the 1962 war, my regiment was also on the Chinese border. When I joined them in 1963, we spent two years there. When we went out on patrol we were fully armed. That’s what a soldier is trained for, he is trained to use his arms. What is the business of meeting people and throwing stones at each other like we are back in the Stone Age,” he said.

“If my soldiers are being clubbed, I would be the first one to issue orders to open fire,” Captain Amarinder Singh said.

Captain Amarinder Singh, a Congress leader, also questioned the delay in the foreign ministry’s statement on whether or not soldiers were armed when they were attacked by the Chinese.

“Why did the foreign ministry make a statement after 48 hours that they were carrying arms? And if they…

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