Indian Army

Amid heightened tensions with China, Army chief visits Ladakh

Army chief General M M Naravane visited Ladakh on Friday to review the operational situation along the unresolved border with China, which has witnessed rival troop build-ups after violent clashes. His visit came a day after the government asserted it remained “deeply committed to ensuring India’s security and sovereignty”.

Gen Naravane reviewed “the forward posture of Indian troops” and the ground situation with Northern Command chief Lt General Y K Joshi and the Leh-based 14 Corps commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh, among other top officers, said sources.

The Army, despite being contacted several times by TOI, refused to say anything about Gen Naravane’s half-a-day-long visit. But sources said the forward-deployed Indian troops, with major reinforcements from other areas for “a second line of defence”, will continue to maintain their “firm stance against yielding any ground” to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the ongoing confrontations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“The Northern Command is on a high alert due to repeated provocations by the PLA. But talks with China, through military and diplomatic channels, are also under way to defuse tensions. With regular brigadier-level meetings at border meeting points (BPMs) and hotline talks between local commanders, there is the possibility the situation will de-escalate in the coming days,” said a source.

Both India and China have pumped in additional troops, built fortifications and pitched tents at a few stretches along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, which include the northern bank of Pangong Tso(Tso means lake), Demchok and Galwan Valley areas

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