Monday, July 6, 2020

India deploys 36,000 troops to contested Himalayan border

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India has deployed more than 36,000 troops along a disputed Himalayan border, according to local sources.

Indian troops and weapons were moved after the Chinese army has deployed in large numbers to around 30 km south-east from the important airstrip of Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO).

It is noted that three Indian infantry divisions were deployed to the border with China. In addition, main battle tanks and artillery were deployed at the border, and Indian Air Force fighter jets regularly patrol the territory.

Not just the army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is also shoring up its posts with men and material.

The decision to induct more ITBP companies to support the army was taken on Saturday after Lt General Paramjit Singh, the Director General Military Operations, and ITBP chief SS Deswal visited Leh.

“We sent some troops to Ladakh before the incident and now we are enhancing the numbers,” a senior government official said.

Indian officials also stressed that China is concentrating massive troops at their contested Himalayan border.

“At the heart of the matter is that since early May, the Chinese side had been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC,” foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said in a briefing in New Delhi on Thursday, referring to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between the Asian nuclear powers.

Srivastava said “this is not in accordance with the provisions of our various bilateral agreements,” referring to treaties that include a 1993 one that dictates that both sides will maintain limited border deployments.

Responding to the heightened Chinese presence last month, India also deployed a large number of troops along the LAC, Srivastava said, leading to face-offs in the Ladakh region of the western Himalayas.

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