New Delhi: India and China reached a “consensus to disengage” from “all friction areas” in Eastern Ladakh during the Corps Commander meeting between the two armies on Monday.
“There was a mutual consensus to disengage. Modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in Eastern Ladakh were discussed and will be taken forward by both the sides,” said sources on the Corps Commanders meeting. The local commanders from two sides will meet in the next few days to discuss step-wise process of disengagements at various points in Ladakh sector.
However, India who feels betrayed after attack on its soldiers on June 15 by Chinese army, will wait for things to actually move on the ground before reaching any conclusion, said sources. Indian army is on high alert to prevent any misadventure by Chinese army. Army Chief Army chief General MM Naravane on Tuesday reached Ladakh to see the operational readiness of Indian Army and discuss operational details with his local commanders. "It doesn't matter what Chinese say on paper, we need to see results on ground. Within days of agreeing for disengagement on June 6 we had Galwan," said a senior official.
The meeting between Indian army’s 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh and People’s Liberation Army’s South Xinjiang Military Region, commander Maj Gen Liu Lin at Moldo which is on the Chinese side of Line of Actual Control (LAC), started at 11:30 am on Monday and went till 11 pm in the night. “The atmosphere was cordial. Chinese side wanted to wrap up at 6 pm but we told them that we want to finish discussion on all points,” said sources.
Lt Gen Singh and other officers who had accompanied him had their lunch and dinner in Moldo hosted by Chinese.
India protested the pre-mediated ambush of its soldiers by Chinese, despite agreeing for disengagement in June 6 meeting.
Sources said that Chinese apologized for Galwan incident and said that it will not happen again.
India told Chinese that they had violated peace agreements between the two countries by bringing in “improvised weapons” to target our soldiers in which 20 soldiers were killed including the Commanding officer of 16 Bihar Colonel Santosh Babu . “Chinese were told that they did not adhere to the peace agreements. While saying that they will not use firearms, they used improvised weapons against our soldiers. They were told that we have given our boys free hand in operational contingencies. You will bring improvised weapons, we will fire,” said sources. India said that given peace agreements between the two sides an incident like Galwan should have never happened.
The main friction points between the two armies are Galwan Valley, Hot Springs, Gogra Post and Pangong Tso.
In Galwan Valley while Chinese have disengaged from patrolling point 14 after June 15 clash, they are still present in a large number at a few distance away from the place, said sources. On the northern banks of Pangong Tso which is the main issue of contention between the two sides, there is a large build-up of Chinese soldiers around finger 4 where they have constructed structures and bunkers there to prevent Indian soldiers to patrol in the area. Indian soldiers which have a base around finger 3 used to patrol till finger 8 area. Sources said that there may be “an ego” problem for Chinese to dismantle their structures at fingers area after so much construction.
“Disengagement will take some more time. There will be more discussions. But even at Pangong Tso they will have to eventually move out,” said another official. There is also a huge build-up by Chinese army along the LAC. In their depth areas Chinese have moved heavy artillery, tanks, fighter aircraft, and armored vehicles. India has also done counter-deployment of its troops and its weapons at LAC. India asked China to start moving back its troops from LAC to peace time locations....