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Army chief wants troops to stay put till PLA blinks

Published: 02nd May 2013 09:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd May 2013 09:42 AM   |  A+A-

The Indian Army on Wednesday told the UPA government that the forces should stand their ground in the face-to-face standoff with Chinese troopers in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and wait for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to blink first.

This assessment and option was part of a presentation that Army chief General Bikram Singh gave the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the government’s highest decision-making body on defence matters, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, sources said here.

At the meeting, General Singh gave an actual account of the standoff between the Indian and Chinese troopers along the 650-km Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, which has witnessed heightened tension since April 15 after about 30 Chinese soldiers intruded into Indian territory and pitched tents.

Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid are also members of the CCS, which has the power to summon the chiefs of the armed forces to give them a perspective on national security issues.

The Army has already presented five options to the China Study Group that has Defence, Home and External Affairs secretaries and the Army vice-chief as members. The Study Group is headed by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, a China expert and a former Ambassador to Beijing.

The proposal to stand ground at Raki Nullah, where 20 troopers from each side are on confrontation just about 80 metres apart, comes even as an adamant Chinese PLA refuses to vacate its tents and go back from Ladakh.

General Bikram Singh also gave his opinion on four other options that the Army presented to the political leadership, although the details were not shared with the media.

Meanwhile, as China mounted pressure by refusing to call back its troopers to its base 25 km away, the Indian Army has agreed to examine the “complaint” from the PLA against some of the Indian military structures that they want removed from the Indian side in Ladakh.



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