As trust deficit with China stays, India beefs up LAC deployment
“Movement in this terrain is difficult thus we are using All Terrain Vehicles, Snow Scooters. Also, we have strengthened our defences to bear the enemy fire.
NEW DELHI: The shadow of the trust deficit between India and China has pushed for troop and infrastructure beef-up across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), including the most peaceful Middle Sector. It has seen not just the re-organisation of the troops but also the beef-up of arms, equipment and commensurate infrastructure continues.
Multiple sources on the ground confirmed that “our troops now reach the passes which are most important access points often in mountains, and they can do it even before the Chinese ground troops come for patrolling. It has been possible due to the fast construction of roads”.
“Movement in this terrain is difficult thus we are using All Terrain Vehicles, Snow Scooters. Also, we have strengthened our defences to bear the enemy fire. In addition, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has also beefed up its presence into the areas which were otherwise thinly manned,” added another source. The ITBP is a Border Guarding Force which manages the LAC with the Army.
There are around 22 Passes in the Middle Sector dotted on 545 kilometres and includes the boundaries shared with Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, the total length of LAC stands at 3,488 km divided into Western Sector (Ladakh), Middle Sector and Eastern Sector (Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh).
The Middle Sector is considered the least disputed, but Barahoti valley in this sector is one of the eight mutually accepted disputed areas on which both countries have overlapping claims. Also, it is the only sector in which there has been a broad agreement and where India and China have exchanged maps. But, now this area also is in the shadow of the doubts raised by China which breached all agreements and Memorandum of Understandings signed in 1993 and thereafter between the two countries. China carried out a massive force deployment in Eastern Ladakh after the PLA soldiers clashed with the Indian Army troops at Finger 4 in May 2020.
Indian Army since then has affected a precautionary deployment all along the LAC and it included the Middle Sector. The Middle Sector and especially Uttarakhand is made of four valleys, starting with Harshil, Mana, Niti and Barahoti.
A third source confirmed that lessons were drawn from the mobilisation carried out by the PLA in Eastern Ladakh and one of them was the “quick mobilisation of armoured vehicles including their tanks into the areas which were not expected.”
“Indian Army has drawn a major readiness plan to defend its borders and Armoured elements have been deployed in every sector, including the middle sector, as per the requirements,” he said. Another development on the ground included the reorganisation of the military formations carried out along the LAC with the troops under the Western Command.