NEW DELHI: In a big message to the Armed Forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on early Friday morning reached Leh. This surprise visit of PM Modi is important as it is the first visit of a political leader since the tension along the Eastern Ladakh border increased due to the Chinese army positioning its soldiers at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
"The Prime Minister is expected to stay in the area till evening and will be briefed about the current operational situation along the LAC," said an officer.
After landing in Leh, the Prime Minister reached Nimu and was briefed by senior officers. He also interacted with the personnel of the Army, Air Force and the ITBP. He is expected to meet soldiers, who were injured during the clashes at Galwan Valley on June 15.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane. PM Narendra Modi's visit is seen as visit to boost the morale of the soldiers on ground.
Till Thursday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was slated to visit Leh but in a sudden change of plan, his visit was postponed. Situated at 11,000 feet, Nimu is an important location of Army in the banks of the river Indus and is surrounded by the Zanskar Range.
The armies of India and China are in a standoff position since two months at various locations in the Eastern Ladakh area since the intervening night of May 5 and 6 when Chinese soldiers clashed with Indian army troops at Finger 4 on the northern flank of Pangong Tso.
After this incident the Chinese had moved their soldiers in Galwan Valley (Patrolling Points 14 and 15), Hot Spring Sector (Patrolling Point 17A) including the Finger 4 and at Y-Junction in Depsang Bulge.
Apart from the standoff position all along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army has also taken precautionary deployment along the 3488 km-long border.
There have been three Corps Commander meeting between India and China to resolve the issues. The last Corps Commanders meet was one on June 30 when the two sides decided to disengage troops in a phased manner.