IAF heavy lift aircrafts have airlifted dozens of additional tanks and armoured personnel carriers to the Ladakh region for beefing up Indian firepower, even as China lined up more jets, bombers.
As per a report in Tribune, amidst carrying out combat air patrols over Ladakh and maintaining operational readiness platforms at various airbases to scramble fighters, the IAF is using its American C-17s and Russian IL-76s freighters for carrying out multiple sorties out of Chandigarh and other places over the past weeks for the purpose.
China too has added numbers to its air-based offensive platforms along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. It has also ramped up aggression and vigil to prevent Indian troops from patrolling east of Finger 4 in the north of Pangong Tso.
Tensions are high between India and China as the Government of India has given powers to the armed forces to make emergency procurements to stock up its war reserves amid tension building up on the LAC.
Air Force assets, including fighters, have been moved up to forward locations.
Navy has also been given the go-ahead to deploy its assets near the Malacca Strait and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese action
Economic Times had reported that the government did not want to leave anything to chance at this stage, especially after the violence in Galwan which left atleast 20 Indian soldiers dead.
Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi has said that the ‘sacrifices of soldiers’ along the border with China will not go in vain. India wants peace but is capable of giving befitting reply, if instigated, he said.
The external affairs ministry has said the escalation in Galwan Valley of Ladakh happened “as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there”.
China has accused India of crossing the border and attacking Chinese personnel, and called on India to “not take unilateral actions or stir up trouble.”
The armies of India and China are locked in a tense standoff at three points in eastern Ladakh, wherein China has reportedly occupied 60 sq. kilometres of territory claimed by India.
A Chinese diplomat reacting to the standoff in Ladakh has said that the move is linked to the Indian government’s unilateral decision to scrap Article 370 in August last year.
The move changed the laws that prohibited Indians from buying land in Kashmir, and made the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir defunct, triggering fears of demographic change in the Muslim majority region of Kashmir.
When India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 last year, the Chinese foreign ministry had issued two statements criticising the development, including one that focused on the splitting of the state into union territories.
This statement, while urging India to be “cautious” on the border issue and to avoid “actions that further complicate the border issue”, said: “China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border.” This was a reference to the area in Ladakh that New Delhi claims but is controlled by Beijing.
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