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Friday, June 19, 2020

India Fighters, Warships Moved To Forward Bases After Bloodiest Day In Ladakh


NEW DELHI: The government has given powers to the armed forces to make emergency procurements to stock up its war reserves in the wake of escalating conflict with China along the Line of Actual Control.

While India has initiated dialogue to contain the conflict in Ladakh, sources said, the government did not want to leave anything to chance at this stage, especially after the violence on Monday night.

ET has learnt that Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has been asked to coordinate with the three services on prioritising the requirements, where necessary.

Those familiar with the details told ET that the Navy has also been given the go-ahead to deploy its assets near the Malacca Strait and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese action.

Air Force assets, including fighters, too have been moved up to forward locations. The first signs of discomfort in the Indian camp started when the Chinese side a few days ago began pressing hard for another round of Corps Commander-level meeting to kickstart talks on the Pangong Tso.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) even moved a request for a Corps Commander-level meeting on June 16. The Indian side, however, declined and had conveyed to their Chinese interlocutors that a higher-level meeting would only be possible after complete disengagement from Galwan.


This decision was taken at the highest levels, added sources. The issue on the table from an Indian standpoint were two semi-permanent structures with tents on PP (Patrolling Point) 14 in Galwan.

The Chinese troops had moved back some distance following local commander-level talks but had refused to remove these structures. At PP 17, China had apparently raised objection to some Indian hutments.

In the recent past, sources said, Chinese troops have acted in a pattern where they move up, build tented structures and then move back after talks without demolishing what they had made.

It’s learnt that this was flagged off by the Army as a way to make reoccupation easier at these heights. However, pending resolution of these issues on Galwan, China was keen to start conversation on Finger areas of Pangong Tso.

At that stage, sources said, a high-level meeting took place in Delhi last Friday where it was decided that India will insist on complete resolution of dispute in Galwan before moving on to Pangong Tso

The turn of events on Monday night took the top brass by surprise. South Block was, in fact, gearing up for a more protracted conversation on getting Chinese troops to move back from Finger 4 in Pangong Tso. It was felt that Chinese PLA would be more belligerent there as it had moved into advantageous ground.

[ By India Times ]

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