New Delhi: India is carrying out “proactive localised preventive deployment” at multiple locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh even as it has carried out “mirror deployment” in areas where it has been challenged by Chinese troops, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources in the know told ThePrint that the localised deployment is to ensure the Chinese are not allowed to exploit anything that might just escalate the tension.
They underlined that the extra deployment is being done through existing troops in the region and none has been brought in from outside.
“In some of the places, the Chinese are challenging the LAC. And hence we have undertaken preventive deployment in multiple places so that there is no advantage for the other side. These are all preventive in nature and have been part of the tactics whenever tensions have risen,” a source explained.
ThePrint had earlier reported that India has decided to “dig in” and conduct “mirror deployment” as China has brought in a large number of its Border Defence Regiment (BDR) troops to the Galwan Valley to force the Indian Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to stop infrastructure-development activities.
Sources maintained that these additional Chinese troops in Galwan Valley are on their side of the LAC but they are accompanied by heavy vehicles and logistics such as tents to house the soldiers.
However, as reported by ThePrint earlier, Chinese soldiers have “come in” by about 3 km into territory that India perceives as its own. This is near Patrol Point 14, 15 and the Gogra Post, which is 80 km South East of Galwan Valley as the crow flies, and is between the Valley and Pangong Lake.
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This is largely known as the Hot Spring area, according to the sources.
The sources told ThePrint that the Chinese have not crossed their CCL (Chinese Claim Line) in these areas but they did accept that these areas are about 3 km within India’s perception of the LAC.
Challenging situation developing in Pangong lake
A challenging situation, however, is developing in the finger areas of the Pangong Lake where the Chinese are aiming to cut off Indian soldiers’ access to a large part of the disputed area.
The Pangong Lake’s northern bank juts forward like a palm, and the various protrusions are identified as “fingers” to demarcate territory. While India asserts that the LAC starts at Finger 8, the Chinese claim it starts at Finger 2, which India dominates.
During the Kargil battle when troops were diverted from the area to fight Pakistan, China had stepped in and built a motorable road at Finger 4.
Sources said India has been trying to construct a road further from Finger 2 over the past few years that would have provided soldiers with the capability to move in vehicles and faster.
The Chinese have, however, now brought in more soldiers and have set up bunkers near Finger 3 area to prevent Indian patrols from going further.
The importance of the finger area to the Chinese is that if they come west of Finger 4, they will have direct observation of Lukung, where Indian patrol boats are kept.
Moreover, they will be able to observe all of India’s movement in the Northern Bank and towards Marsmikla among others.
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