New Delhi: Five days after Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed at the Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has landed in Leh to review security preparedness along the Line of Actual Control.
Gen Rawat will be briefed by the Corps Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, a comprehensive security briefing which will include the Indian Air Force. On top of the discussion list will be eastern Ladakh which shares a 800-km border with China.
The three-day visit assumes significance in the backdrop of the Doklam standoff that has entered its third month. The brawl at Pangong Tso, situated 14,000 feet above sea level, has heightened tensions further.
A video of the incident that had gone viral clearly shows that the troops on both sides didn't just stop at a fist fight, but went on to attack each other with stones.
Sources say that during the banner drill, soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) attacked the Indian Patrol Commander after which Indian soldiers retaliated.
The brawl took place between Finger-3 and Finger-4 area along the northern bank of Pangong Tso when a Chinese patrol unit tried to enter Indian territory.
Two-thirds of the 135-km-long water body is with China, one-third is with India. The LAC runs through the lake that is the sight of frequent transgressions and aggressive patrolling. But the level of aggression on display on August 15 is unheard of, say senior Army officials.
The assessment in the Indian security establishment is that China will continue to needle Indian troops along the 4,057-km LAC with attempts at intrusion.
The message from General Rawat to his men is clear — Be firm. Do not withdraw. Do not provoke.
On Monday, General Rawat will be present at the ceremony where President Ram Nath Kovind will present the Presidential Colours, one of the greatest honours bestowed upon a unit recognising its exceptional courage, to the Ladakh Scouts in Leh.