Vigil up as China lines up more jets, bombers

Beijing has made additions at Hotan, Ngyari and Shigatse

Vigil up as China lines up more jets, bombers

File photo

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21

China has added numbers to its air-based offensive platforms along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. It has also ramped up aggression and vigil to prevent Indian troops from patrolling east of “Finger 4” in the north of Pangong Tso.

India has also ramped up preparations on its side as the two armies remain fully deployed along the 826-km front of the LAC in Ladakh.

Also read: Chinese media urges India not to equate Beijing with Pakistan

Both sides are expected to facilitate another meeting of their lieutenant general-level officers in the coming week. A similar meeting was held on June 6. Major general-level officers of both armies were asked to hold talks to reduce tension. However, on the intervening night of June 15 and 16, a deadly clash resulted in the killing 20 Indian troops, besides casualties to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Indian agencies have noticed deployment of additional fighter jets, bombers and attack helicopters at four bases close to the LAC. Such additions have been noticed at Hotan in Xinjiang (just north of Ladakh), Ngyari (around 100 km south-east of Ladakh) and Shigatse (150 km north of Sikkim). There has also been PLA movement at Nyingchi, north of Arunachal Pradesh.

At Pangong Tso, the attempt of the PLA is to alter the LAC unilaterally. Armour and artillery buildup has also been done at Gogra Hot Springs.

Indian positions at Depsang, Murgo, Galwan, Hot Springs, Koyul, Fukche and Demchok face enhanced threat from the PLA.

India has added Apache helicopters, Sukhoi fighter jets and tanks along the LAC. The latest to be added is a division of the Indian Army that is otherwise kept ready for any contingency. After being acclimatised for over two weeks to undertake any operation at an altitude of over 14,000 feet, it is now being deployed.

In all, a total of three divisions now form an arc and are ready to respond.

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