‘Disengagement’ of troops at LAC: Key points

NEW DELHI: Mutual disengagement between India and China has started at friction points along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh sector. The troops of India and China are engaged in an eight-week standoff in several areas in eastern Ladakh including Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and Gogra Hot Spring. The tension escalated after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15.
Here is a look at the latest developments from Galwan Valley —

  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi held a telephonic conversation on Sunday during which they agreed on disengagement of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at the earliest, the ministry of external affairs said.
  • In a statement, the MEA described the talks as “frank and in-depth exchange of views” and said they agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC “expeditiously”.
  • In the first sign of de-escalation of tension in eastern Ladakh, the Chinese Army has “removed tents and started to withdraw its troops” from Galwan Valley as decided during high-level talks between the two militaries.
  • However, Chinese heavy armoured vehicles are still present in the depth areas in Galwan river area.
  • TOI had earlier reported that India and China had broadly agreed to restart the phased step-by-step verifiable troop disengagement from the “friction points” in Galwan Valley and Gogra-Hot Springs areas during the 12-hour marathon meeting between 14 Corps commander Lt-General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin at Chushul on June 30.
  • MEA said Doval and Wang re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the LAC and should not take any “unilateral action” to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquillity in border areas.
  • As per the proposed disengagement plan, the rival troops will gradually move back distances of 2.5 to 3 km in phases to de-escalate tensions at the face-off sites, which will later be followed by de-induction of huge military build-ups along the LAC.
  • Apart from also blocking Indian patrols beyond the “Bottleneck” area in Depsang after intruding deeply into Indian territory, the PLA has also simultaneously stepped-up activities in the middle (Uttarakhand and Himachal) and eastern (Sikkim and Arunachal) sectors of the 3,488-km LAC.
  • India, has undertaken “mirror deployments” by inducting three additional infantry divisions (each has 10,000-12,000 soldiers), artillery guns, surface-to-air missile systems, tanks and armoured vehicles in eastern Ladakh alone, along with deploying fighter as well as attack and heavy-lift helicopters in forward bases, as was reported by TOI earlier.

(With inputs from agencies)

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