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Govt reviews security situation in Ladakh

NEW DELHI, SEP 1 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 9/1/2020 12:47:36 PM IST

The Government of India Tuesday took a comprehensive security review of the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), especially the developments in eastern Ladakh, where its troops outflanked the Chinese a few days ago and now dominate the entire southern bank of Pangong Tso.

The review meeting was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and attended by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, the three service chiefs and the Director General of Military Operations.

The meeting was held ahead of Rajnath Singh’s visit to Russia Wednesday to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers’ meet on 3 September. Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe will also take part in the SCO meet, but government sources said no bilateral meeting is scheduled. The security review meeting was important since Rajnath Singh will only be back in the country on 5 September. Sources said the DGMO gave a detailed briefing on the situation in Ladakh, and possible scenarios were also discussed at the meeting.

“Necessary directions have been given to the armed forces. Indian forces have maintained a high operational alert and all necessary steps have been taken,” a source said, refusing to elaborate further on what transpired at the critical meet.

Sources also said that on his visit to Russia, Rajnath Singh will hold bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu.

Singh will also review the ongoing military projects with Russia, especially the emergency procurement of certain types of missiles and equipment. As reported by ThePrint, India and Russia are also close to signing a deal for over 6 lakh AK-203 rifles, with the per-rifle price having finally been fixed.

China took provocative action again: Centre

Chinese troops were engaged in provocative action again in the south bank area of Ladakh’s Pangong Lake yesterday, but India was able to prevent these attempts, the government said two days after a similar attempt in the same area. “Yesterday, on 31st August, even as the ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to de-escalate the situation, the Chinese troops again engaged in provocative action,” the foreign ministry said. “Due to the timely defensive action, the Indian side was able to prevent these attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo”.

“The actions and behavior of the Chinese side since earlier this year along the LAC has been in clear violation of the bilateral agreements and protocols concluded between the two countries to ensure peace and tranquility on the border. Such actions are also in complete disregard to the understandings reached between the two Foreign Ministers as also the Special Representatives,” the ministry said. 

The action came hours before the Chinese Embassy in Delhi, in its strongest statement so far, said ‘’India’s move has grossly violated China’s territorial sovereignty, seriously violated relevant agreements, protocols and important consensus reached between the two countries.’’

Earlier today, sources said the army has taken has effective military control of the entire disputed area till India’s perception of the Line of Actual Control in the region.

It is controlling multiple key ridges on the south bank of the Pangong Lake, sources said, adding that it was an entirely defensive move made to counter a Chinese build-up.

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