Following the fresh transgressions by Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, Army Chief General MM Naravane on Thursday arrived in Ladakh to take stock of the situation. The Army Chief is on a two-day visit to the region.
Notably, the Chinese troops recently engaged in provocative actions in the southern bank of Pangong Tso Lake to change the status quo. However, the attempts were thwarted by the vigilant Indian Army. In fact, India has intensified the deployment of its men and machinery to counter Chinese aggression.
Assessment of the situation
General MM Naravane will be briefed about the evolving situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). He will be briefed by top Army commanders who are overseeing the deployment of troops. The Army Chief will also ascertain the combat readiness of the Indian Army in the region.
Sources said that Gen Naravane may meet officers and jawans who have been taking part in operations to preempt Chinese soldiers. The Army has prevented the Chinese troops from occupying heights on the Indian territory and thwarted their intentions to transgress into Indian areas.
The Indian Army has further bolstered its presence in at least three strategic heights in the southern bank of Pangong Tso Lake. The development comes days after foiling China’s “provocative” actions to change the status quo in the area.
Military talks fail to produce any outcome
Notably, India and China on Monday and Tuesday held military talks to ease escalating tension triggered by fresh confrontation.
The Brigade Commander-level talks were held in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The specific agenda was to discuss the situation around Pangong Lake. However, the meetings resulted in no concrete outcome.
Indian Army strengthens presence
Following the fresh transgressions, the Indian Army has significantly strengthened its presence on a number of “strategic heights” around the lake. Besides, it has further bolstered its presence in the area.
A battalion of the Special Frontier Force was also deployed in the area.
The sources said the Indian Air Force (IAF) has also been told to enhance its surveillance. They have been asked to keep track of the increasing Chinese air activities along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
Notably, China has deployed J-20 long-range fighter jets and several other key assets in strategically located Hotan airbase. The airbase is around 310 km from eastern Ladakh.
India-China clash of June 15
The stand-off between India and China which started in April-May peaked on June 15. The stand-off intensified after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley.
Some 40 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured in the clash. However, Beijing never confirmed the number of casualties on its side. The two nations had agreed on disengagement since, but the withdrawal of troops is yet to be completed.
Chinese soldiers continue to occupy positions in depth on slopes along Finger 5 and on slopes extending towards Finger 8, satellite pictures showed.
India believes the Line of Actual Control lies at Finger 8, near Fort Khurnak, a historic site in the area. China believes the LAC is at Finger 4 and has prevented Indian soldiers from patrolling beyond the point since April.
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