Express News Service

RUPA (ARUNACHAL PRADESH): Consequent to the unilateral breach of agreements along the Line of Actual Control by China in Eastern Ladakh, Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army’s Eastern Command Lt Gen MK Pande suggested that India is reviewing its future responses at the higher level.

Lt Gen Pande also said that China has increased its troops levels on its sides in Eastern Sector in the depth areas and they have not yet gone back.

Replying to the question of The New Indian Express, Lt Gen MK Pande, said, “In terms of our larger guidance, strategic guidance in terms of dealing with situation on the LAC is to respect the mutually agreed protocols and agreements, and that has been our effort, notwithstanding what has been the action or response from the other side. Consequent to what happened and what we need to do in the future, is something I reckon is being looked at at a higher level.”

In May 2020 China moved a large body of its People’s Liberation Army troops at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh after a clash between the troops of the two sides at Finger 4 location along the North Bank of the Pangong Tso.

The standoff started at Finger 4 and spread to Galwan, Gogra, Hotspring and South Bank of Pangong Tso. The tensions flared and this led to bloody clashes at Galwan which led to the death of 20 Indian Troops and at least 4 from the Chinese side.

Speaking on the force accretion by the PLA in Eastern Ladakh, Lt Gen Pande said there has been focus on conducting integrated exercises. “Annual Training exercise which the PLA carries out has increased in depth. Some of the reserve formations mobilized by the PLA have continued to remain in operational depth,” he said.

Significant length, 1346 kilometers which includes Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, lies in Eastern Sector which is being looked after by the Indian Army’s eastern Command. There are several areas of differing perception where faceoffs take place.

The Indian Army tries to resolve faceoffs at the local level, Gen Pande. “We have robust mechanisms like hotlines, Border personnel Meetings which have worked well so far,” told Gen Pande.

Adding to the mechanism of communication and resolution along the LAC 4th hotline has been added recently. 4th Hotline has been operationalised recently at North Sikkim. The other three in the Eastern Command are at Kibithu, Bum La, Nathu La.

India has been sprucing up its military and road infrastructure. “India has worked on mobility with all terrain vehicles, have added drones, counter drone mechanism, UAVs, Precision Guided Ammunitions, better radio sets, surveillance radars and night vision capabilities,” he said.

The Mountain Strike Corps has been fully operationalized. Its raising commenced in 2014 with its combat, combat support and logistics set up raised. “Operational Philosophy has stabilized and the troops have been doing validation training exercises with other formations,” he said.

The raising of the Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) for swift deployment of troops with effective fire power is in process. “To enhance the efficiency of the Mountain Strike Corps we are looking at IBG from better options of deployment,” he said.