Army chief in Arunachal to review operational preparedness

Army chief in Arunachal to review operational preparedness

NEW DELHI: As talks on disengagement with China hit a roadblock, Indian Army chief, Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane has gone to Arunachal Pradesh for a two-day visit to forward areas along the Line of Actual Control.

He would be interacting with field commanders to check operational preparedness in the forward areas. The Army chief’s visit comes as China has started building up troops, artillery, armour and materials in depth areas in all three sectors — western (Ladakh), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal) — of the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control.

China has also mobilised soldiers near Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, a tri-junction between India, Nepal and China situated atop the Kalapani Valley. Since Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops are not moving back as per the consensus, the Indian Army has kicked off the massive logistical exercise for advance winter stocking, with rations, specialised clothing, prefabricated shelters, arctic tents and other equipment. India has deployed over 35,000 troops in Ladakh.

The countries are locked in a hitherto unprecedented three-month-long stand-off at multiple points along the border. China had changed the status quo on the LAC at various places, moving inside the Indian territory. India has objected to it and is taking up the matter with China at all levels.

The troop disengagement happened only at patrolling point-14 in Galwan Valley, the site of the June 15 clashes, and patrolling point-15 in Hot Springs. On June 15, as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.