Unilateral and provocative actions by the Chinese to change the status quo by force, in more than one area on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), were responded to by the Army “in a firm and non-escalatory way,” ensuring the sanctity of our claims in Eastern Ladakh, the Defence Ministry has said. The Army, it stated, was “well-entrenched” to counter any “misadventure” by the Chinese forces.
“Indian Army has maintained all protocols and agreements between the two countries while the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) escalated the situation by utilisation of unorthodox weapons and amassing large number of troops,” the Ministry said in its annual report. “India categorically conveyed to China that any attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo at the border is unacceptable and that India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it stated.
The report said Advance Winter Stocking (AWS) and winter preparations for the enhanced strength had been completed and troops were “well entrenched to counter any misadventure” by the Chinese forces. “While the Indian Army is prepared for any eventuality, talks are also progressing to resolve the issue in an amicable manner,” it stated.
On the Army’s response, the report said that the Army, with assistance from Indian Air Force (IAF), mobilised troops, including “accretionary forces”, in a very short duration including heavy equipment like guns and tanks, as also ammunition, rations and clothing.
On the violent clash in Galwan which saw the first combat fatalities in over five decades, the Ministry said 20 soldiers lost their lives while preventing PLA troops from ingressing into Indian territory. “The Chinese also suffered significant casualties,” it said.
Later, on August 28 and 29 last year, Indian troops, in a “precautionary deployment, pre-empted Chinese expansionist designs and occupied heights” along the southern bank of Pangong Tso, the report said adding, “Braving inclement weather, own troops continue to be deployed on these heights.”
Eight rounds of Corps Commander level talks , in addition to diplomatic talks, have so far failed to reach any breakthrough in disengagement and de-escalation along the LAC. However, the 9th round of senior military commander talks has been delayed. The Army has deployed around 50,000 troops in addition to tanks and other equipment along the disputed boundary in Eastern Ladakh to match the Chinese deployments since the beginning of the standoff in early May.