India-China Ladakh face-off: Changes were made to the Rules of Engagement empowering field commanders to order their troops to use firearms under 'extraordinary circumstances'.
India-China Ladakh face-off: In the backdrop of the June 15 face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh, the Indian Army has changed its rule of engagement on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the border with China, thereby allowing its field commanders to order troops to use firearms under ‘extraordinary’ circumstances, ANI reported.
The report added that changes were made to the Rules of Engagement empowering field commanders to order their troops to use firearms under ‘extraordinary circumstances’.
Reports further stated in view of the tense border standoff with China the government has also granted the three services an additional financial power of up to Rs 500 crore per procurement project to buy ammunition and weapons.
Post reviewing the prevalent situation on the India-China border after the Galwan clash, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated that the Indian Army has been given complete freedom to deal with the on-ground situation.
The report further added that the Indian side is expected to discuss the matter with the Chinese Army during the Corps Commander level talks that are proposed to be held soon to ease the tension that has risen post the clash between the two armies in Galwan.
As per the border agreements signed between the two countries in 1996 and 2005, the Indian and Chinese armies do not fire at each other. The agreements also stipulate that the two forces will not use any blasting equipment or firearms within two kilometres of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The change to the Rules of Engagement comes in the backdrop of June 15 clashes between the Indian Army and Chinese PLA at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, and 76 injured, PTI reported.
The clash in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley was the biggest confrontation between the Indian and Chinese troops since clashes that occurred in Nathu La in 1967 when 80 Indian soldiers lost their lives while the death toll on the Chinese side was over 300.
The two armies had been engaged in stand-offs at Galwan and other points of eastern Ladakh since May 5 when the troops from the two sides clashed on banks of the Pangong Tso lake.