PLA exercising in its depth areas opposite Ladakh, Indian forces watching closely

·3 min read
Representative image
Representative image

By Ajit K Dubey

New Delhi (India), May 18 (ANI) More than a year after the Chinese army displayed aggression on the northern front, the People's Liberation Army is carrying out an exercise in their depth areas near the Eastern Ladakh sector.

The Indian armed forces are also fully alert this year despite the COVId-19 pandemic and keeping a close watch on all these movements of the Chinese forces there.

"The Chinese have been coming to these areas for many years where they hold their exercises in summer time. Last year also, they had come to these areas in the garb of exercises and diverted from here towards Eastern Ladakh aggressively," sources told ANI.

The Chinese troops are well within their traditional areas with distances at some places ranging from 100 kms and beyond, they said.

Sources said the development is important as the two sides are still discussing issues related to existing friction points including hot springs and Gogra heights after the mutual withdrawal of troops from the Pangong lake area by both sides.

The Indian side has also seen summer deployment of troops at forward locations in eastern Ladakh and other sectors.

Senior officials from the forces deployed on the front have also reviewed security situation in forward areas recently and are keeping a close watch on the situation there, the sources said.

The forces deployed by the Indian side in Ladakh include the Indo Tibetan Border Police, Indian Air Force, and Indian Army which is now at the forward most locations in the sector.

The Chinese after diverting from their traditional exercise areas had come to the eastern front and the two sides have been engaged in a military standoff since then.

There was hope that the Chinese would go back to their original locations but they have remained at forward locations since then.

The Chinese have also been seen doing construction of bunkers in their territory and have been working to fortify their structures, the sources said.

India has also fortified its positions and prepared its troops for a long haul there as deployments of additional forces and rotations have been going on.

Both Indian and Chinese Armies have a large number of troops deployed at the border since last year.

The formations of Mathura-based One Strike Corps have also been reoriented towards the Northern borders while one of its Armoured formations would continue to be with it.

The deployment of formations and troops in the Sugar sector, Central sector, and the northeastern borders have also been strengthened.

Due to the Indian tactical operations along the southern bank of Pangong Tso, the Indian Army managed to secure disengagement from the Finger area, the two sides are continuing to hold talks for further disengagement and de-escalation from other friction points in the area.

India is demanding disengagement at the Gogra, Hot Springs, and Depsang plains area by the Chinese Army. The Chinese have been maintaining the presence of their long-range air defence batteries including the HQ-9 which can hit targets at over 200 kms ever since the stand-off started along with their fighter nets at Hotan, Ngari Gunsa and Kashgar.

India has also ensured that its guard remains up in view of the Chinese posturing and maintained a large number of troops in these areas along with frequent deployment of frontline aircraft such as the Rafale fighter jets there. (ANI)