Army Chief visits Ladakh amid raising tensions with China along LAC

Army Chief General Mukund Naravane

Amid rising tensions between the Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane visited the headquarters of the 14 Corps based in Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh on Friday.

According to the reports, the Army chief General MM Naravane visited Ladakh for a security review of the sensitive sector as tensions between India and China along the disputed Line of Actual Control has grown since last week.

The Army chief was briefed by top military field Commanders in Leh, including Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General YK Joshi and 14 Corps Chief Lieutenant General Harinder Singh.

China eyeing strategic infrastructure in North and Eastern sector

The security review by the Army Chief in the sensitive region comes a day after there were reports that China had deployed excessive troops and set up temporary tents across the Galwan river in Ladakh after a face-off near Pangong Tso on May 5-6.

It is also believed that Chinese troops have also taken up positions along the Pangong Tso Lake and are also carrying out aggressive patrols with motorboats to intimidate Indian forces in the region. Reportedly, the Chinese troops have damaged some temporary structures put up in the finger area near Pangong Tso Lake.

Reportedly, the Chinese may be targetting Darbuk-Shyok-Daula Beg Oldi (DBO) Road that was constructed last year, which is a lifeline for Sub Sector North (SSN). However, Indian forces have successfully deterred the Chinese with aggressive mobilisation.

Apparently, China is unhappy over the construction of a road and bridge at the Galwan area that has recently been undertaken by India for patrolling and to help the local population.

Troops clashed in Eastern sector

The Galwan stand-off comes at the backdrop of a recent incident where troops of both India and China were involved in two face-offs in a span of a week in the Eastern Ladakh and near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector along the contentious border between the two countries.

In the first incident, the Chinese army personnel had clashed with Indian forces along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh on May 5. The face-off ended the next morning following dialogue between the two sides. A number of soldiers on both sides had sustained minor injuries

Just days before, in another incident, nearly 150 Indian and Chinese military personnel had engaged in a face-off near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector of the Sino-India border in which at least 10 soldiers sustained injuries.

Earlier, China’s foreign ministry has accused Indian troops of trespassing across LAC and stated that China had to take “necessary countermeasures” after the Indian army allegedly obstructed normal patrols by Chinese troops.

However, India has rejected Chinese allegation that the Indian troops crossed LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim sectors and initiated tensions. Meanwhile, India had also accused the Chinese army of hindering patrols on the Indian side.

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