Amidst the growing tension between India and China, the Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane rushed to Ladakh on Friday to review the situation there and to was briefed by the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen YK Joshi and 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh. He was briefed by the two commanders on the steps being taken to counter the Chinese aggression and on the situation along the LAC which has been tense for a couple of weeks now. “This is the first high level visit by the chief since the tensions escalated between the troops of both the countries.”
Though discussions between the two countries both at the diplomatic level, as well as the military level in New Delhi and Beijing, are going on, there has been no solution yet and the face-offs continue.
What has happened so far?
Since the tensions have increased along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the militaries of both countries have moved their troops and military assets in the forward areas, but with their own territories.
The Troops on both sides remain on high alert.
India has made it clear that not once has its troops transgressed on the Chinese side. And have also stated that patrolling by the Indian Army troops has been improved. However, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been pushing and shoving and stone pelting on the Indian troops and have also been hindering the patrolling.
As has been reported earlier, experts on the region as well those who are closely monitoring the Ladakh region have stated that “Such incidents happen, especially in the summertime. Both sides are talking. Each side has its own perception about the LAC. The current situation will be under control soon.”
Deployment of the troops has been increased by both sides and this has resulted in `stand-off’ at three different locations. However, China has been more aggressive and has put up more than 80 tents in the Galwan Valley and has also got boats with PLA personnel who are armed in Pangong Tso Lake. They have also got helicopters for aerial surveillance.
To stop the work of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the Chinese side has also got in a large number of Border Defence Regiment (BDR) troops and posted them along the LAC. The tensions on both sides have been building as the Chinese side has been raising objections to construction work by BRO along LAC on the Indian side. BRO has been very actively laying roads and bridges which are connecting the Shyok-DBO road. These were constructed last year to connect the forward areas.
Why the tension?
The bank of Pangong Tso Lake is like a palm and has 8 protrusions. These are identified as `Fingers’ for demarcating territory. According to India the LAC starts from Finger 8, and the Chinese insist it starts from Finger 2.
And, the Chinese have built blocking points at Finger 2.