Amid the simmering tensions between Indian and Chinese troops at Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, China has started deploying its soldiers in large numbers near the LAC. On 7 September, the Indian Army succeeded in foiling the incursion of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into Mukhri area of Chushul, but more such actions are expected from China in the coming days.
On 1 September, China had deployed a battalion of the PLA Ground Force near Rechin La at LAC and has also deployed two battalions near the Spangur lake. All of these are part of the 62 Combined Arms Brigade present at Shikwan.
It is to be noted that Indian Army had succeeded in capturing Rechin La and Rezang La on 29-30 August. From here the Indian Army can also keep an eye on Moldo Cantonment of China and PLA troops are now looking for opportunities to re-occupy these peaks of strategic importance.
China has also deployed two motorized divisions in Ladakh.The 4th Motorized Division is deployed in front of Chushul and the 6th Motorized Division is present from the west side of Pangong to Daulat Beg Oldi.
Besides this, the battalions of tanks of 4 motorized divisions have taken up positions around the Spangur Gap.
In a mirror deployment, the Indian Army has also deployed its tanks and armored vehicles all around the LAC from where there is a possibility of a major attack from the Chinese troops.
There are wide plains in this area, which are good for the action of tanks and armored vehicles, therefore the armies of both the countries can carry out big attacks from here.
PLA territorial violations since July not limited to eastern Ladakh: Intel
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) violated the Line of Actual Control several times in the past two months, and in several places across the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand, according to intelligence reports, and security and intelligence officials who asked not to be identified.
The Chinese transgression was not restricted to Eastern Ladakh alone, the officials and reports reveal — with, in one case, the PLA transgressing up to 40km inside Indian territory before withdrawing.
Accounts by the officers also belie Chinese claims of India transgressing the LAC between the two countries. They also point to the larger Chinese strategy: the officials contend that the increased activity along the unsettled, approximately 3,500-km-long border is aimed at keeping the Indian Army on its toes at multiple places and injecting an element of surprise in the ongoing tension, even though Eastern Ladakh remains the main standoff theatre.
India and China have been involved in a prolonged, four-month-long standoff since April in which both sides have suffered casualties. At least 20 Indian Army soldiers, including a commanding officer, were killed, and 80 injured, in Galwan in Eastern Ladakh on 15 June.
According to one intelligence official, who cannot be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, the PLA entered Arunachal Pradesh twice in July. According to him, Chinese soldiers transgressed at least 26km inside Indian territory in district Anjaw and “camped for three to four days”, in the first half of that month, before exiting.
In the second instance, also in Anjaw, the PLA transgressed through Arunachal’s Hadigra Pass and came in 40km, and retreated only after leaving telltale marks.