Indian Air Force (IAF) Apache attack helicopter, at a forward airbase near India-China border, carried out night operations. These attack helicopters are fully loaded with fire-and-forget anti tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunitions. Apache helicopters also have modern Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities to provide versatility to the helicopter in a network centric aerial warfare. These aircrafts have been modified specifically to suit the exacting standards demanded by IAF.
Indian Air Force's MiG-29 fighter aircraft conducted night operations at a forward airbase near India-China border. Chinook heavylift helicopter also joined the night operation. The Indian Air Force has significantly enhanced deployment of frontline jets, attack helicopters and transport fleet in its key bases along the Line of Actual Control. The air activities in the Ladakh area and other places along the China border had gone up extensively soon after the Galwan valley clash on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel lost their lives.
Amid India-China border tensions, Indian Air Force personnel stated that they are ready in all aspects to undertake any operational tasks. A squadron leader of Indian Air Force at a forward airbase near Indo-China border said, "Every air warrior at this base and across IAF is fully trained and capable to meet all the challenges. Our josh has always been high and touching the sky with glory." IAF wing commander at a forward airbase near Indo-China border said, "We have all resources in terms of men and equipment to meet all the challenges. IAF is ready in all aspects to undertake all operational tasks and for providing requisite support for military operations."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his surprise visit to Leh hailed bravery of Indian soldiers at the border. "Today the head of every citizen of the country bows to you in respect. From Leh, Ladakh to Siachen and Kargil and Galwan's icy waters...every mountain, every peak is witness to the valour of Indian soldiers," said PM Modi to soldiers in Ladakh.
Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated in Ladakh on May 23 amid coronavirus pandemic. Celebration of Eid will be different this year as large gatherings are prohibited and people have been asked to maintain social distancing. Eid-ul-Fitr is also known as festival of breaking the fast which is observed during the holy month of Ramadan. While speaking to ANI, a local said, "The moon was sighted in Kargil on May 22 so we are celebrating Eid in Ladakh today (May 23). Due to COVID-19 outbreak, we will be offering prayers at our homes." There are 44 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ladakh. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of COVID-19 active cases are 69,597 and 3720 deaths in India.
Residents of Muzaffarabad held protest against China and Pakistan, opposing the construction of dams on Neelam and Jhelum rivers. A protestor said, "Agreement for the dams was signed between governments of China and Pakistan, we had no say in it." The protesters also highlighted environmental impacts caused by the dams constructed by Pakistan and China. Recently, a tripartite agreement was signed between a Chinese company and the governments of Pakistan and China for construction of a 1,124 megawatt hydropower project in Kohala costing US 2.4 billion dollars.
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