Military might on show as the Indian Army deploys about 8,000 troops in eastern Ladakh to counter the rising Chinese military presence
The Indian Army is flexing its military muscles in areas previously regarded as peaceful, to counter the rising threat of Chinese troops advancing over the border. In a bid to strengthen its position against the threat of Chinese troops carrying out incursions along the Line of Actual Control, the Indian Army has enhanced its presence in areas such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where new formations have been deployed.
Along with raising the Mountain Strike Corps in response to the increasing Chinese military presence along the borders, the Army has also deployed an additional two brigades (approximately 8,000 troops) in eastern Ladakh for better security.
‘In Himachal Pradesh, there was one sector which has now been converted into a new brigade in the area bordering the Chinese territory. Meanwhile, in Uttarakhand, a brigade has been sent from a rear position to Pithoragarh, in the Kumaon hills of the state,’ sources told Mail Today.
During the Doklam crisis, senior officers from the directorate general of military operations visited the Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh borders near China to review the security situation.
During the last decade, incursions and transgressions from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army into the Indian side have risen, due to differing opinions about the actual boundary line between the two sides.
However, eastern Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have been the most active in terms of transgressions committed by the Chinese Army.
During the Doklam crisis, when Indian and Chinese troops were in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) border patrol crossed the Uttarakhand border and entered the Indian territory.
Crossing 200m into Barahoti, in Chamoli district, at about 9am on July 25, they asked cattle owners to leave the area.
However, the soldiers left a couple of hours later. Last year when a similar incident was reported from the region, the ITBP team, patrolling the area at the time, dealt with the incident and the Chinese soldiers returned after a meeting.
The Indian Army also patrols this area, but without uniform or weapons. The flat land is used by grazers from both India and China.
Chinese and Indian soldiers had been locked in a face-off on Doklam plateau at the tri-junction with Bhutan, where Beijing wanted to build a road up to Jhampiri. This would have allowed them to come close to the Indian ‘chicken’s neck area’ in the Siliguri corridor.
The two sides disengaged from the area but have maintained their presence there ever since.
India’s strong stance on the issue resulted in China backtracking from its hard stand, as publicised in its official media, which carried threats to wage a war, should India block its attempt to construct a road there.