In 11-hr talk, India asks China to withdraw from key points in Ladakh

This is the first Lt-General-level talks after the bloody face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan Valley on June 15, that led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers

Sino-India border
For several decades, India and China have found themselves politically in opposing camps marked by a war in 1962 whose scars still run deep. (Representative Image : PTI )

Top military officials from Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday (June 23) held the second round of marathon meeting at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh to discuss further de-escalation process to restore peace between both the armies.

The talk comes days after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in clashes with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh.

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Raising the issue with China at Monday’s meeting, India demanded immediate withdrawal of Chinese troops from all friction points in eastern Ladakh, especially the Finger Area of Pangong Tso where the PLA has set up bunkers and observation posts, reports said quoting people familiar with the development.

The Lt General-level talks which took place between delegations led by Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, commander of Leh-based 14 Corps and Major General Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military area. The talks which began at 11.30 was on till 10.15 pm.

According to PTI, the focus of the deliberations was on finalising modalities for disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh.

There is no official word on the outcome of the talks yet.

The first round of the Lt Gen talks was held on June 6 at the same venue during which both sides finalised an agreement to disengage gradually from all standoff points beginning with Galwan Valley.

However, the situation worsened following the bloody skirmish between soldiers of both the sides on June 15 that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead.

In its wake, both sides strengthened their deployments in most areas along the 3,500-km de-facto border after the clashes.

Though China has not revealed its casualty figure, there were reports that a commanding officer of the Chinese army was among those killed in the clashes. There is no official confirmation about it.

In the talks, India pressed for restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh including in Pangong Tso.

Separately, the top army commanders at a conference in Delhi on Monday held a detailed deliberation on the eastern Ladakh standoff and on the overall situation along the Line of Actual Control, official sources said.

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On the first day of the two day conference, Army Chief Gen M M Naravane carried out a comprehensive review of India’s security preparedness along the LAC with China in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, they said. He is likely to visit Leh on Tuesday afternoon to take stock of the operation preparedness of the Army in the region.

The government has given “full freedom” to the armed forces, deployed along the 3,500-km de-facto border with China, to give a “befitting” response to any Chinese misadventure, government sources said after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation in eastern Ladakh at a meeting with the top military brass on Sunday.

The Army has already sent thousands of additional troops to forward locations along the border in the last one week. The IAF has also moved a sizable number of its frontline Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 aircraft and Apache attack helicopters to several key air bases including Leh and Srinagar following the clashes.

(With inputs from agencies)

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