Ladakh face-off | Army Chief briefs Rajnath Singh on ground situation along LAC

An Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft flies over Leh on June 26, 2020.

An Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft flies over Leh on June 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane on Friday met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and briefed him on the ground situation along the border in eastern Ladakh amid continuing tensions, a defence source said.

Gen. Naravane was in Ladakh on a two-day visit and oversaw operational preparedness while Mr. Singh returned on Thursday after a four-day visit to Russia.

The Army Chief briefing was on the operational situation on the ground along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) following his recent visit, a defence source said. He also updated the Minister on the deliberations of the Army Commanders Conference (ACC) held early this week. Gen. Naravane met Mr. Singh at his residence.

The Army Chief visited the forward areas in Ladakh on June 23-24 where he interacted with troops, including those involved in the recent clashes with Chinese troops. The Phase-II of the bi-annual ACC, which was postponed in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic was also held on Monday and Tuesday.

Disengagement stalled

Meanwhile, the situation on the ground remains tense with no progress on the proposed disengagement and massive build-up and ingress by Chinese troops in Galwan and Depsang, even while the Corps Commanders talks were held.

An Army source said full disengagement and return to earlier positions is going to be a long haul, specially in areas like Pangong Tso and Depsang, where Chinese troops have made ingress and dug in well inside Indian territory which can alter the alignment of the LAC and crate a new normal on the ground.

The region will see the onset of winter in a few months and the tough conditions in the high altitude areas will pose a significant challenge to both sides in supporting troops and positions in such large numbers.

The agreement for limited de-escalation reached at the first Corps Commander talks was scuttled with the violent clash on June 15, resulting in the death of 20 Indian soldiers including a Commanding Officer. The modalities for disengagement from all the “all friction areas” in Eastern Ladakh agreed to at the second Corps Commander talks on June 22 is yet to get underway.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 5:15:15 PM |

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