With Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) dragging its feet on restoring the status quo ante along the 1,597km Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh sector, the Indian Army has started preparing for a long winter as it does not want a repeat of April 2020 next year.
Top government officials confirmed that the Indian Army has asked its defence attaches posted in embassies in the US, Russia and Europe to identify warm clothes and snow tent manufacturers in case there is a need for emergency purchases.
After Operation Meghdoot in Siachen in 1984, the Indian Army gets all its requirements fulfilled by local manufacturers with regard to igloos, semi-hemispherical domes, Down parkas, snow goggles, boots and gloves for troops guarding the heights in the western sector.
While the Indian Army has matched the Chinese PLA in terms of troop strength and support elements in the Ladakh sector, its commanders totally dismiss reports of induction of over 35,000 troops recently. However, the military commanders are clear that they will have to man positions along the LAC in specific areas to prevent any PLA aggression next year. “After the PLA aggression, we don’t trust the Chinese and fear that they will come back again north of Pangong Tso as summer arrives in 2021,” said a military commander.
Although the PLA has disengaged from patrolling points 14 (Galwan), 15-16 (Hot Springs), a smattering of adversary troops are still on forward location at patrolling point 17 A (Gogra) and withdrawal from all contested finger features is a distance away at the Pangong Tso.