A Google Earth image showing the elevation on the southern bank of Pangong Tso
A Google Earth image showing the elevation on the southern bank of Pangong Tso
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New Delhi: The Indian Army is holding around 30 dominating heights and other such terrain on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso, all of which were earlier unoccupied or partly held, ThePrint has learnt.

The move comes in the wake of the recent posturing by the Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

According to government sources, the heights include the Rezang La and Reqin La, both dominating the Spanggur Gap and covering Patrol Points 27 to 31. They also include the dominating heights of Black Top, Hanan, Helmet, Gurung Hill, Gorkha Hill and Magar Hill among others.

Most of these heights and dominating terrain features were unoccupied or lightly held by Indian Army troops before the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh began in early May this year, the sources said.

Since then, some of these areas have been gradually reinforced, while others have been occupied in the last few days as Indian forces pre-empted PLA activity on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso to “thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground”.

The move, the sources said, will work in favour of India in case of a trade-off of territory or while sitting across the table.

Eastern Ladakh has approximately 1,600 sq km of disputed area, of which around 350 sq km is in the south of Pangong Tso. Another 1,250 sq km is disputed in the areas north of the lake, including around 1,000 sq km in the Depsang plains.

Former 14 Corps commander Lt. Gen. P.J.S. Pannu (retd) earlier told ThePrint the southern bank gives the Indian troops an advantage in terms of monitoring the activities in the northern bank. “There has been a hardening of military posturing in the southern bank, too, by the Chinese, given that Indian troops hold certain significant heights in the region.”


Also read: China took provocative action 31 August as talks were on, says India


Situation remains tense

The situation along the LAC continues to remain tense with the Indian and Chinese troops facing each other well within small arms firing range.

Army Chief Gen M.M. Naravane left for a two-day visit to Leh Thursday to review the security situation and operational preparedness in Ladakh region.

As reported by ThePrint earlier, specialised units of the Indian Army have climbed up the heights, facing the ridgelines of Finger 4 in the northern banks of Pangong Tso where the Chinese had built posts in April.

China currently dominates areas between Finger 4 and Finger 8, a distance of about 8 km, which comes within the Indian side of the LAC.

Defence sources said close to three brigades of troops have been deployed in the south of Pangong Tso and additional acclimatised troops are available across eastern Ladakh for any subsequent challenges.

The sources told ThePrint that all troops are fully armed, with rocket launchers and mortars, other than tanks and artillery guns and surveillance equipment, deployed in their support.

Meanwhile, brigadier-level talks have been taking place between the two sides every day since Monday, but have remained inconclusive so far.

The meetings have hinged on the tactical aspects and rules of engagement of troops at the ground level, again to avoid face-offs or escalations.


Also read: Situation in eastern Ladakh still ‘sensitive’. China, India deploy tanks, additional troops


 

 

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9 Comments Share Your Views

9 COMMENTS

  1. ENTIRE DE SCRIPTION IS DECEPTIVE. SURVELLANCE OF CHINA IS NOT ENOUGH
    BUT THEY SHOULD BE EVICTED FROM OUR TERRITORY. HOW THIS GOVT., IS GOING TO ACHIEVE IS MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION. ONLY THE WAY IS LET US ALIGHN WITH
    U S A AND ONLY THEN OUR BORDER SHALL BE PROTECTED AVOID LOOSING FURTHER TERRITORY

    • It would be foolish to think USA or anyone else will come to our rescue. At most what they will do is let us buy some armaments. It is up to our defense forces to defend and regain every inch of India, whether against China or Pakistan.

  2. In a democratic country like India its important to tell everything army does to useless politicians as demanded by opposition. Government and army should allow rahul Gandii to climb those captured tops otherwise he will speak after reading global times. Just let him climb those areas occupied by army ,he will climb those tops in 2 years if he survives. By the way 2 2 was given maximum 120 min to reach and secure the tops. And they did it in much less time

  3. No way the Chinese should be believed .They just carry on negotiations just to divert the attention and carry on attack from the back. They are master of deception , , betrayal and dirty tactics of backstabbing. India will do a blunder again if they give away the newly occupied area on promise of vacating the occupied finger area by PLA.

  4. We must remember that holding dominating heights with a few men helps mainly to monitor enemy activity and alert the forces who are lower down. Heavy guns and artillery can’t be dragged upto 15-16000 ft on trackless slopes, so the ridge tops cannot be used to mount any assault. However the moves will help to define the LAC more clearly.
    Hopefully our men on the ridges have shoulder fired anti aircraft missiles to deter any Chinese jets which try and dislodge them.

  5. All Tactically and Commanding Heights should be retained like the Israelis holding Golan Heights , as they are likely to Occupy on vacating in the dead of the night , as they already appear to have a few Heli Launch pads close to the Border.
    PRC just cannot be trusted as demonstrated since 1962 . They hold Negotiations to Buy Time, to better prepare themselves , as Delaying Tactics , etc. Even now they are doing it.

  6. India is in decent position RN, even though china agree to de-escalate Indian territory but still India should not vacate untill Full time resolution for state quo….

    • PERSIST with your current PAGAN PATTERN of THINKING/DECISION MAKING and U will know the OUTCOME when the ANGELS of DEATH will CATCH UP with U as they will CATCH UP with EVERY SOUL on the face of the earth.

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