Army on 'Operation Alert' along China border
Published: 16th September 2009 07:11 PM |
NEW DELHI: The Indian Army has mobilised its troops to forwards posts in Jammu and Kashmir and along the northeastern border with China in an exercise named Operation Alert, a defence official said Wednesday.
"About 50 percent troops on the Line of Actual Control have been mobilised to forward posts. The mobilisation would last for nearly a month," a senior Indian Army official told IANS.
The mobilisation of Indian troops has come close on the heels of a high-profile war game launched by the Chinese army. China had deployed close to 50,000 troops in its biggest cross-country tactical mobilisation exercise that has sent alarm bells ringing in India as it is seen as Beijing's efforts to improve its ability to deploy troops in Tibet whenever reinforcements are required.
However, the Indian Army officially refused to term the mobilisation as a counter to the Chinese army's exercise.
"Operation Alert is an annual exercise conducted during this time of the year to undertake the maintenance of the forward posts," another Indian Army official said.
In the past months, there have been several reports of Chinese troops intruding into Indian territory in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir creating anxiety about Beijing's aggressive designs.
The Indian government has, however, sought to play down the incursions, saying these are routine incidents that occur due to differences in perception about the Line of Actual Control.