No change in Ladakh, military brass brief PM and Rajnath

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Amid tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting Tuesday with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and chiefs of the three services.
Earlier, General Rawat and the three chiefs met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and briefed him on the ground situation in Ladakh, deployment of armed forces and the state of preparedness on the LAC.
The military brass is learnt to have apprised the Prime Minister about the evolving situation in eastern Ladakh though officials maintained that the meeting was pre-scheduled and reforms in the armed forces was on the agenda.
The meetings came ahead of the three-day conference of Army commanders starting in Delhi on Wednesday. It will be attended by Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Y K Joshi whose command is responsible for eastern Ladakh. He is well versed with the area, having been the XIV Corps Commander before taking over as Northern Army Commander earlier this year.
The conference was originally scheduled for April 13-18, but was postponed due to the pandemic. It will now be held in two phases, the first phase from May 27-29, and the second in June-end.
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“The apex level leadership of Indian Army will brainstorm on current emerging security and administrative challenges and chart the future course for Indian Army,” the Army said in a statement.
Meanwhile, there has been no scaling down of tensions on the LAC in eastern Ladakh with India matching the Chinese with its deployment of man and material.
Sources said the Army had increased its presence on the boundary with China in North Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, along with Ladakh. This was based on the understanding that India “would not be scaling down its deployment in face of aggressive military posturing” by China, sources said.
In Ladakh, at least six rounds of talks have been held between Indian and Chinese military commanders on the ground but have failed to achieve a breakthrough. Sources said the Chinese, who crossed the LAC at three places, have refused to move out of Indian territory or de-escalate the tensions.
In Galwan valley, the Chinese have massed troops on their side of the LAC.
India’s key “strategic asset” in the area is the 255-km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road which was completed last year. It provides access to Daulat Beg Oldie where the IAF re-activated an Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in 2008. Galwan valley is closest to the road from the LAC.
Source: Indian Express