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World|life|September 7, 2020 / 12:42 PM
China-India standoff: India in control of 'critical heights' in Ladakh

AKIPRESS.COM - As China-India border tensions have again surged after fresh clashes and Beijing refusing to withdraw from some critical points, India too has taken advantage and taken control of un-demarcated border regions, The Eurasian Times reported.

The Black Top, a strategic height in the area which falls well within the Indian perception of the Line of Actual Control, is now effectively under the control of Indian forces, according to reports in TOI.

The move started when the Indian Army detected a column of 300 PLA troops moving on the feature to construct permanent settlements and occupy the area (a common PLA strategy). Since the Black Top came under the Indian occupation, troops were mobilized and the PLA soldiers were stopped from intrusion.

The heights were previously unoccupied and according to the reports, Indian and PLA troops are within firing range of one another, separated by just a few hundred meters at one point.

Earlier, the PLA, in an official statement, accused Indian troops of crossing Line of Actual Control(LAC) along the Pangong Tso lake and at Requin La.

However, Indian officials said that the deployments in the Chushul sub-sector were well within its perception of LAC and the reason troops were moved forward was to avoid a situation like the Finger Area where PLA created defenses by violating border protocols.

The Indian Army has consolidated its positions with the deployment of heavy armor in the vulnerable Spanggur Gap to thwart any further PLA ingress into the region.

With such a situation emerging at the Western part of the LAC in Ladakh, India is also focusing on strengthening its defenses in the Eastern part of the LAC, which includes the states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The consolidation of defenses and deployment of additional troops along the Eastern sector was being done more vigorously after the June 15 Galwan Valley clashes, which resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian and an unspecified number of PLA troops.

According to the Times of India, the deployment of additional troops raises concerns over a wider face-off, though both government and military officials have ruled out any ‘immediate confrontation’.

However, according to an Indian military spokesman, the deployments are part of routine change of army units.

Post the latest China-India clashes at the LAC, the Indian troops are in successful occupation of dominating heights near the Spanggur Gap. As per reports, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are manning to critical heights including the Black Top.

The new occupation of heights such as Black Top and Helmet Top, provides the Indian Forces with a strategic advantage and that now soldiers from both armies are only just a few hundred meters apart at some points.

With the Indian troops manning these posts at the peaks, New Delhi has now, symbolically, told that we have dug in, this is formally Indian territory and any counterattack made by the PLA would mean more serious and dangerous escalation. Manning of these ‘new frontier’ signals that the Indians are in no mood of backing off from the disputed region.

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