In a startling revelation Indian intelligence officials and political leaders have said that the Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel deployed along the border with China were “pushed back, kilometre by kilometre” till India “lost” almost 35 square kilometres of territory, according to a report in New Delhi based news portal The Wire.
The report is based on conversations with “a cross section of senior officials and political leaders to make sense of the government’s approach” on the latest stand-off with China.
The Wire reported that China had opened six fronts at Galwan Valley, Pangong, Demchok, Naku La and 14 km east of Doklam in Bhutanese territory starting third week of April, when the snow started melting.
The report also notes the alarming failure of Indian diplomacy – which among its other advantages, had for long helped India evade criticism over its actions in Kashmir – in the South Asian subcontinent.
The report quoted a senior official to say that: “China has assessed that we are the weakest ever right now in terms of friends – especially after the flare up with Nepal – the economy, political resolve and internal coherence. Hence the aggression”.
China on Wednesday had said that the situation at the border with India is “overall stable and controllable,” and both the countries have proper mechanisms and communication channels to resolve the issues through dialogue and consultation.
The comments by the Foreign Ministry spokesman came in the backdrop of the continuing standoff between the militaries of India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Indian army troops were flown to eastern Ladakh to strengthen security along the disputed Line of Actual Control, amid reports that Chinese soldiers have transgressed 3-5 km into territory claimed by India near the Pangong Lake, sources in the security establishment told The Telegraph.
“Troops are being flown to eastern Ladakh and deployed at the three standoff locations,” an Intelligence Bureau official was quoted as saying.
As field-level talks to lower tensions along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh remain inconclusive, the Indian Army has increased its presence in Uttarakhand.
Chinese President Xi Jinping directed China’s armed forces to strengthen training of troops and to be ready for war amid coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic’s visible impact on the world’s most populous country’s national security.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi too held a meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs with a focus on bolstering India’s military preparedness to deal with external security challenges, government sources said.
Satellite images show massive construction activity at a high altitude Chinese air base, located just 200 kilometres away from the Pangong Lake, the site of the skirmish between forces of India and China on May 5 and May 6.
Earlier, reports said that the Chinese Army in a recent stand-off with the Indian forces in the Pangosg Tso lake area in Eastern Ladakh sector used sticks, clubs with barbed wires and stones to target Indian security forces’ soldiers there.
According to sources, quoted by News Agency ANI, “the behaviour of the Chinese has been like the Pakistan-backed stone-pelters who use stones and sticks to target Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley.”
“The Chinese troops came armed with sticks, clubs with barbed wires and stones in an area near the Pangong Tso lake during a face-off with Indian troops there,” sources told ANI.
There are close to 10,000 soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Indian territory, reports have claimed.
The report said that dialogue is frozen, with the Chinese rebuffing Indian calls for flag meetings to resolve the situation.
Earlier, reports claimed that the Chinese troops have reportedly “come about three kilometres inside Indian territory” South East of the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.
China and India have been locked in a standoff with each other in eastern Ladakh, where the deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent fist-fight on the evening of May 5 which spilled over to the next day before the two sides agreed to “disengage” following a meeting at the level of local commanders.
In the midst of the escalating tension, Army Chief General MM Naravane paid a quiet visit to the headquarters of 14 Corps in Leh on May 22 and reviewed with the top commanders the overall security scenario in the region including in the disputed areas along the LAC — the de-facto border between India and China.
China has also decided to evacuate its citizens in India.
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