From Sikkim to Arunachal: In­dia Beefs up Troops

In­dia also try­ing to defuse ten­sion through flag meet­ings be­tween In­dian Army & PLA ‘We have raised our alert­ness level and are tak­ing pre­cau­tions due to the Chi­nese rhetoric’

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Shau­rya.Gu­rung1@ times­group.com

New Delhi: In­dia has beefed up its troop strength along the Line of Ac­tual Con­trol from Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh in the face of Bei­jing’s ag­gres­sive rhetoric on the cur­rent stand­off be­tween the In­dian and Chi­nese troops. In the mean­while, In­dia is also try­ing to defuse ten­sion through flag meet­ings be­tween­it­sArmyandtheChi­ne­sePLA.

How­ever,aque­s­tion­markhangsover the­cer­e­mo­ni­al­bor­der­per­son­nelmeet­ings (BPMs) be­tween the two armies onAu­gust15.Cur­rently,the­si­t­u­a­tio­nis tense and the Army has “marginally” in­creased de­ploy­ment along the LAC fromSikkim­toArunachalPradesh.

“We have raised our alert­ness level and are tak­ing pre­cau­tions due to the Chi­nese rhetoric. So we have marginally in­creased our troop strength­intheeast­ern sec­tor from Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh,” said a se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial.

In­dian Army’s three im­por­tant for­ma­tions — 33 Corps, 3 Corps and 4 Corps, which are to be pit­ted against the PLA in case of a con­flict — have been beefed up. The 4 Corps was one of the main­for­ma­tion­swhich­fough­ta­gainst the PLA dur­ing the 1962 war. The strength in Dokalam, the place where stand­off is tak­ing place, re­mains the same.EvenChi­na­has­in­creasedtroop de­ploy­ment on its side of the LAC.

Through­out­theyear,In­di­an­sol­diers de­ployeda­longth­eLi­neof Con­troland theLAC—fromLadakhtoArunachal Pradesh — are in a state of ‘no war no peace’. Se­cu­rity ex­perts have told ET that In­dian troops dom­i­nate the PLA atim­por­tant­lo­ca­tion­sinSikkim,soif any­thing bad has to hap­pen it could hap­pen in other ar­eas. A flag meet­ing be­tween Ma­jor Gen­eral-level of­fi­cers of the In­dian Army and PLA was sched­uled at Nathu La in Sikkim on Fri­day. Brigadier-level of­fi­cers of the two armieshad­me­tear­lierthisweek.“Inthe pre­vi­ous­meet­ing,In­di­a­toldChi­nanot to change the sta­tus quo, mean­ing

In­dian soldiers de­ployed along LoC and LAC are in a state of ‘no war no peace’

don’t con­struct road to­wards the Jam­pheri Ridge un­til the stand­off ends and the own­er­ship of the dis­puted ter­ri­tory (Dokalam plateau) is de­cided be­tween Bhutan and China. Chi­na­toldus­towith­drawtroops,”said an­other se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial.

Mean­while, In­dia is wait­ing to see if the PLA will ac­cept its in­vite to hold border per­son­nel meet­ings on Au­gust 15. The in­vites will be sent a few days be­fore the In­de­pen­dence Day. “If the Chi­ne­seac­cept­in­vi­ta­tion,it­meansthat re­la­tion­sareim­prov­ing.Thisyear,they didn’t in­vite us for BPMs dur­ing the PLA­day­onAu­gust1,”saidthe­of­fi­cial.

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