Sit­u­a­tion along LAC tense with full army de­ploy­ment

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTSPOTLIGH­T - Shishir Gupta let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

NEWDELHI:The sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues to re­main tense along the 3,488km-long Line of Ac­tual Con­trol, with both the In­dian and Chi­nese armies fully de­ployed, air bases ac­ti­vated, and the navy on standby, fol­low­ing the June 15 face-off in the Gal­wan sec­tor.

Though the sit­u­a­tion has not es­ca­lated since the Gal­wan in­ci­dent, the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) is con­tin­u­ing troop ac­cre­tion with sup­port el­e­ments on standby, In­dian of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said. The In­dian Army po­si­tions are also be­ing beefed up in re­sponse to the PLA build-up in the Xin­jiang and Ti­bet re­gions, and the air forces of the two sides are keep­ing sur­veil­lance watch on each other, the of­fi­cials added.

One of them said on con­di­tion of anonymity that In­dian mil­i­tary com­man­ders have is­sued in­struc­tions to use force if PLA troops cross the Gal­wan nul­lah to at­tack the In­dian Pa­trol Post 14. The PLA has amassed troops across the nul­lah, and both sides are hold­ing ground, he said.

The sit­u­a­tion on ground is no dif­fer­ent from June 16, with the two armies not think­ing in terms of dis­en­gage­ment at the mo­ment along the lines of the June 6 frame­work laid down in a Lt Gen­eral-level meet­ing. Se­nior In­dian mil­i­tary com­man­ders are watch­ing the PLA move­ment in the Ak­sai Chin re­gion, while the min­istry of ex­ter­nal affairs is try­ing to search for a diplo­matic so­lu­tion. “The sit­u­a­tion has cooled to a lit­tle ex­tent, but de-es­ca­la­tion ap­pears to be a long haul due to the po­si­tion China has taken on the Gal­wan Val­ley,” said a se­nior In­dian diplo­mat.

Mil­i­tary watch­ers said they were shocked by the level of ag­gres­sion on so­cial me­dia -- on both sides of the border -- with sev­eral peo­ple ask­ing their re­spec­tive armies for ret­ri­bu­tion. “All those ask­ing for re­venge are war mon­gers who do not have any idea of de­struc­tion a war be­tween two nu­clear na­tions can cause. If the In­dian or Chi­nese sol­diers had not obeyed the 1996/2005 mil­i­tary pro­to­col for the LAC on June 15, there would have been car­nage lead­ing to a ver­ti­cal es­ca­la­tion all across the border with im­me­di­ate vi­o­lence on nearby pa­trolling point 15 and 17,” said a for­mer In­dian Army chief.

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