Srinagar Sep 10(KINS): Amid mounting tensions, both India and China have been making heavy deployment of troops and tanks along the Line of Actual Control in mountainous Union Territory Ladakh.
For the first time in 45-years, the Army on Tuesday said Chinese troops fired shots in the air in Eastern Ladakh a day after India denied charges by Chinese Army that it transgressed across the LAC.
For the last one week, hundreds of vehicles laden with soldiers and ammunition have been dispatched to Ladakh from Kashmir.
Along the 450 km highway between Srinagar and Leh, hundreds of army vehicles are taking troops and ammunition to LAC every day.
Once abuzz with tourists, the Leh city wears a deserted look and only selected people are allowed to travel to Leh.
For locals, it is for the first time since 1962 war that such a deployment of troops have been made along the LAC.
Chering Bunde, a resident of Chushul told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) that he has never seen such deployment along the LAC.
“The situation is unprecedented along the LAC,” he added.
Pangong and Galwan fall in Chushul constituency.
China has deployed additional troops and tanks at multiple friction points in Ladakh since the latest confrontation on the Pangong Lake’s south bank in late August.
Peagong, a resident of Chumathang, a bordering village in Ladakh said he has never seen a huge deployment along the LAC.
“The LAC is tense probably for the first time since the 1962 war. The situation is unprecedented,” he said.
The sparse population in Chumathang and other nearby villages of the LAC are mainly dependent on agriculture and goat rearing.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has asked China to respect the LAC not try to unilaterally change the status quo, and work with India towards complete disengagement from all the friction areas in eastern Ladakh.
A senior official in Indian Army said a lot of troops who were serving in Kashmir have been deputed to LAC. “We don’t want to take any chances and make it sure LAC is strengthened before the winter begins,” he said.
Winter begins from October in Ladakh. Our army he said has four weeks to get prepared for winter. “During winter, Chinese troops have an upper hand due to easy accessibility as they have built motorable roads closer to the LAC. Besides food and fuel, the troops would need special tents and shelters,” he said.
The incursions began in May this year in Galwan valley and Pangong Lake along the LAC in Ladakh after Chinese troops apparently entered into India’s territory. On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, which led both the nuclear countries on the brink of war.
The fresh tensions began on Tuesday when Indian army claimed that Chinese troops fired shots in the air in Eastern Ladakh a day after India denied charges by Chinese Army that it transgressed across the LAC.(KINS)