NEW DELHI: Rejecting China’s claim that disengagement on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was more or less over, India on Sunday demanded complete disengagement of troops from Finger 4 and Patrolling Point 17A and other stand-off points.
According to sources, India hardened its stance during the fifth round of talks between Corps Commanders of the two countries held in Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC on Sunday, in a bid to thwart China’s salami-slicing tactics.
“Talks are being held and complete disengagement of troops from the remaining standoff points will be the main agenda,” sources told TNIE on Sunday evening, when the talks were still on. Finger 4 on the northern flank of Pangong Lake and Patrolling Point 17A (Gogra) are the places where China has not fulfilled the commitments of disengagement as decided in previous meetings.
Disengagement at PP14 (Galwan Valley) and PP15 was completed and verification done in the beginning of July. Sources said Chinese troops left the heights at Finger 4 but remained deployed on the ridges in the vicinity. Also, the disengagement is pending at PP17A.
“Our stance is status quo ante before Chinese troops moved forward in the first week of May” source added.
Indian XIV Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh and Maj Gen Lin Liu, Commander of the South Xinjian Military District have been representing their respective sides. Earlier meetings were held on June 6, June 22, June 30 and July 14. The Chinese troops had clashed with the Indian troops on the intervening night of May 5 and 6 and subsequently moved their troops forward.
Later, the artillery and armoured assets were moved. Thereafer, both sides deployed fighters in forward areas. India has done precautionary deployment all along the 3,488-km LAC, de facto border between India and China.
China had on July 25 said disengagement was complete in Galwan, Hot Springs and Gogra but was silent on Pangong Tso. In response, India said there has been some progress but disengagement is not yet over.