The Indian Army has given a ‘firm’ response, which was ‘non-escalatory’ in nature, to the “unilateral and provocative” attempts of the Chinese army to change the status quo in multiple areas on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the Defence Ministry said in its annual report.
The report said while military-level talks are underway to defuse the situation along the LAC, Indian forces are well-equipped to counter any “misadventure” by Chinese forces and that the Indian Army is prepared for any eventuality.
Referring to the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15 that marked one of the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades, the defence ministry said the Chinese side also suffered “significant casualties”.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clashes.
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“Unilateral and provocative actions by the Chinese to change the status quo by force, in more than one area on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), were responded to in a firm and non-escalatory way, ensuring the sanctity of our claims in Eastern Ladakh,” it said.
“Indian Army has maintained all protocols and agreements between the two countries while the PLA escalated the situation by utilisation of unorthodox weapons and amassing a large number of troops,” the report added.
India and China are locked in an eight-month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained their ties. Both sides held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff.
The report said Indian Army, with assistance from IAF, mobilised troops including accretionary forces in a very short duration including heavy equipment like guns, tanks as also ammunition, rations and clothing.
While it referred to the loss of lives on the Indian side during the skirmish in Galwan Valley on June 15 last year, the report said on August 28 and 29, Indian troops in a precautionary deployment, pre-empted Chinese “expansionist designs” and occupied heights along the southern bank of Pangong Tso.
Indian troops continue to guard these heights despite the inclement weather, the report said.
“Advance Winter Stocking (AWS) and winter preparations for the enhanced strength have been completed and troops are well entrenched to counter any misadventure by Chinese forces. While the Indian Army is prepared for any eventuality, talks are also progressing to resolve the issue in an amicable manner,” the report said.
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The report said the Indian Army has resolutely countered adversaries on the Line of Control (LC) and the LAC. The force carried out relentless counter-insurgency and counter-terror operations.
(With inputs from agencies)