Rajnath Singh, NSA Doval, CDS Rawat review Ladakh standoff situation

As India reconciles to having around 35,000 troops through the winter when the temperature is below -40 degree Celsius in Eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday held a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the top military brass to discuss the situation at the border with China.

Talks between India and China remain deadlocked and now the bigger problem is logistics. India has to move around three additional formations to reinforce the border.

India has to build at least 5,000 habitats and construction in the inhospitable terrain generally stops in September.

Singh held the review meeting with Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs on the prevailing situation at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh where Chinese troops are still camping.

"The meeting happened for almost one-and-a-half-hours in South Block," said a source.

The de-escalation of troops at the Line of Actual Control has stopped for now as the disengagement talks between India and China have hit a roadblock. China has refused to move back from its present military position north of the Pangong Tso and Depsang.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has refused to pull back eastwards from the 8-km stretch it has occupied from Finger-4 to Finger-8 by building scores of new fortifications there since early May.

The mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as Fingers in military parlance.

China has also increased its troop deployment at Lipulekh, the place that became a trigger for strained relations between New Delhi and Kathmandu. Lipulekh is a tri-junction between India, Nepal and China situated atop the Kalapani Valley.

China has changed the status quo on the Line of Actual Control at various places. India has objected to it and is taking up the matter with China at all levels.

Both the countries are locked in a more than three-month-long stand-off at multiple points, hitherto unprecedented, along the border.

During the meeting, it was also discussed that Beijing has started troop and material build-up in depth areas across the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control.

India has found that China has deployed troops, artillery and armour in three sectors of the LAC -- western (Ladakh), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal).


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