By Sumit Kumar Singh
New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane will visit Leh and Kashmir to take stock of the ground situation this week.
General Naravane’s visit comes amid the heightened threat in eastern Ladakh region where over thousands of Indian Army men have been deployed a few metres away from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), following the bloody clash with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) a week ago.
The Army Chief will review the force preparedness as well the deployment across the Line of Actual Control with China and Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. He is likely to visit on Tuesday.
On Monday, corps commanders of the two countries’ military met at Moldo to resolve the border issues and ease the tension in eastern Ladakh.
This is the second such meeting after the first one took place on June 6 to defuse the tensions.
The meeting between 14 Corps commander Lieutenant General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin is happening on the lines of the one they held at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting (BPM) point in eastern Ladakh on June 6.
The ground situation is volatile in Ladakh, and Pangong Tso can be another flashpoint after the Galwan Valley patrolling point 14 where a barbaric attack was carried on Indian troops by the Chinese army on the night of June 15.
At Pangong Tso, there is an attempt of the PLA to alter the Line of Actual Control unilaterally. The prolonged camping and a heavy presence of Chinese troops around the Pangong Lake, at a point which has been under Indian control, has emerged to be the biggest roadblock for a possible resolution to the ongoing tussle between India and China at the LAC.
The Chinese have built defences in several parts between Finger 4 and Finger 8, which have been grey zones in the past. The Chinese action in Pangong Lake is seen as an attempt to change the status quo.
The Indian Army has also enhanced deployment in the Hot Springs, Demchok , Koyul, Fukche, Depsang, Murgo and Galwan.
After the June 15 violent clash, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and the Chinese troops also suffered casualties, nothing has changed and things continue to be tense in the Galwan and Pangong Tso regions.
In the midst of the growing tensions, India is exploring all possible military options as a response, if the Chinese aggression continues.
India has also ramped up preparations on its side along the 826-km front of the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])