India China Ladakh standoff: Even as efforts were initiated to de-escalate in certain locations along the Line of Actual Control in Easter Ladakh, without firing a single bullet there was casualties on both sides.
India China Ladakh standoff: Even as efforts were initiated to de-escalate in certain locations along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, without firing a single bullet there was casualties on both sides. “It was more of clubbing, stone pelting, and knives were used which caused fatalities,” revealed sources who wished to remain anonymous.
According to a former Indian Army General who wished to remain anonymous, “Military de-escalation at the borders or LAC may only be a ‘process’ for apex political levels but, on the ground, where troops are actually to execute the process, it is a complex issue where emotions, verbal and non-verbal communications come into play significantly as also detailed lay of the ground. At the ground level, for the process to move smoothly, mutually accepted set of rules of engagement is necessary and normally decided & enforced by local commanders.”
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“The incident seems to be an outcome of these rules having been violated by PLA. If that be so, Chinese political leadership must quickly intervene to restrain its soldiers or risk escalation,” the former General added.
According to Lt Col Manoj K Channan (Retd), “The escalation at Galwan Valley is an unfortunate incident that has taken place last night. The loss of a commanding officer of 16 BIHAR and two soldiers is unacceptable. The tensions have been existing and the man on ground has the task of carrying out the will of the government.
The casualties indicate that the Commanding Officer was not prepared for the incident. The question that comes to the mind is why have the Rules of Engagement not been clearly spelt out? The Indian Army is not engaged to wrestle, box or get into a street side fracas.”
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In the opinion of former Lt Col Channan “It is a possibility that it’s the Indian Army personnel may have been surprised and the Chinese have wilfully taken this harsh action to convey a message which is direct.
As per some reports from the ground “By the way the Chinese come prepared, they carry rods, machete baseball bats with barbed wire. Our troops aren’t allowed to carry even Khukris”?”
“The Army cannot be treating this as a law enforcement or an aid to civil authorities’ kind of an action. What remains of essence is that has 16 BIHAR been given a free hand to redeem its honour or will ‘weak kneed’ leadership let this blemish stay on as in 1962.
Clearly the Official Briefings are scarce with truthful reporting and it has also blown holes in the political hubris,” Channan opines.
The writing on the wall is clear that the Chinese are not willing to relent and they will assert their will at all costs as its India that has had a loss of face; what are our options? The will to “kill” is not being displayed and that is a worrying sign.
The diplomatic initiative must continue; however, the Indian Army must stop talking and for a change start inflicting casualties. Does India have the political will to do so is something that will reflect on Political Leadership?
Hopefully, this will knock sense in the heads of those responsible and accountable for the defence of India, that being with the Defence Secretary, who currently is down with Corona Virus, who is filling up is an information gap.