China troops refuse to vacate LAC camps; India ready to slug it out

Despite having arrived at a consensus with India on disengagement, the Chinese troops have not moved back from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. The Chinese continued to stay put at Finger 4 that had traditionally been under the Indian control. However, in this circumstance, the Indian Army prepares for a long haul and harsh winter for the high-altitude region. Preparations are underway for ensuring adequate rations and other supplies to its soldiers. Indian Air Force is on high alert and is prepared to meet any eventuality.

According to reports, China is not complying with the roadmap for a complete withdrawal, which was drawn out during the Corps Commander level meet on July 14. The Indian security establishments said that the Chinese retreated a bit and then returned; so there is a need for “constant verification” of the consensus achieved during the meetings between the Indian and Chinese military delegates.

It has been found that the Indian and Chinese troops have pulled back at Pangong Lake by 2km and Finger 4 is empty. However, the Chinese are still camping on the ridge line. The Chinese had come in eight kms into the Indian territory, all the way till Finger 4 from Finger 8. India maintains that the LAC runs through Finger 8. Mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as fingers, reports IANS.

In Galwan Valley, which is called Patrolling Point 14, distance between Indian and Chinese troops is 3 km. At Patrolling Point 15, the distance between troops is around 8 km. But in Hot Springs, that is Patrolling Point 17, 40-50 troops on both sides are just 600-800 meters apart. The Chinese Army had retreated as per the consensus, but again returned.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh while reviewing the Indian Air Force’s operational capabilities and deployments at forward locations on Wednesday urged the force to stand ready to handle any eventuality on the border with China. Singh had said during his address at the inaugural session of the three-day Air Force Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi that started on Wednesday. The minister, during his visit to Ladakh last week, said that India wants peace but there is no guarantee of the final outcome of talks with China. Singh also reviewed the ground situation in the hostile border areas.