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China has massively deployed troops along LAC, says Rajnath

Replenishing stock:Personnel unloading supplies from an IAF transport aircraft at a Ladakh base on Tuesday.PTI

Replenishing stock:Personnel unloading supplies from an IAF transport aircraft at a Ladakh base on Tuesday.PTI  

China has mobilised a large number of troops and armaments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as well as in the “depth areas”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

He pointed out that there were several friction areas in eastern Ladakh, including Gogra, Kongka La and the north and south banks of Pangong Tso (lake).

“In response, our armed forces have made appropriate counter deployments in these areas to ensure that India’s security interests are fully protected. We made it clear to the Chinese side, both through diplomatic and military channels, that China was, by such actions, attempting to unilaterally alter the status quo. It was categorically conveyed that this was unacceptable,” Mr. Singh said.

On the violent clash at Galwan on June 15, he claimed that Indian troops had inflicted heavy casualties on the Chinese side. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the incident.

The Minister said the nature of the current stand-off with China was different “both in terms of scale of troops involved and the number of friction points”.

Mr. Singh said the amassing of troops by China went against the 1993 and 1996 agreements. Respecting and strictly observing the LAC was the basis of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and that was explicitly recognised in the agreements, he noted.

Build-up since April

The Chinese actions on June 15 at Galwan and the attempts to alter the status quo of the south bank of the lake on August 29 and 30 “reflect a disregard of our various bilateral agreements,” he said. “While our armed forces abide scrupulously by it, this has not been reciprocated by the Chinese side.”

Mr. Singh said that since April, a build-up of troops and armaments by the Chinese side adjacent to eastern Ladakh was noticed. In early May, the Chinese side took action to hinder the normal, traditional patrolling pattern of Indian troops in the Galwan Valley area, causing a face-off, he said.

On the September 4 meeting in Moscow with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Wei Fenghe, Mr. Singh said he made it clear that “even as we wanted to peacefully resolve the issue and would like the Chinese side to work with us, there should also be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

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