NEW DELHI: India and China have begun a slight disengagement from the face-off sites in the Galwan Valley and Gogra-Hot Springs areas of eastern Ladakh, in the first signs of a mutual troop pull-back from the over two month-long major confrontation that has seen both countries undertake major military build-ups along the Line of Actual Control.
Sources on Monday morning said the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) “ is removing some of its tents and temporary structures” at the Patrolling Points-14, 15 and 17A in the Galwan Valley and Gogra-Hotsprings, with “some of their vehicles being moved back by about a kilometer or so” till now.
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“The situation, with the creation of a buffer zone, will be clearer by Monday evening. We will need to wait to see if this is a genuine and lasting disengagement,” said a source.
TOI had earlier reported that India and China had broadly agreed to restart the phased step-by-step verifiable troop disengagement from the “friction points” in Galwan Valley and Gogra-Hot Springs areas during the 12-hour marathon meeting between 14 Corps commander Lt-General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin at Chushul on June 30.
But there has been no breakthrough as yet in defusing the major troop confrontation at Pangong Tso, where PLA soldiers have built a large number of fortifications as well as taken the dominating heights after occupying the “Finger-4 to 8 area”(mountainous spurs separated by 8-km distance) on the north bank of the lake since early-May.
PP-14 at Galwan Valley was the site of the bloody skirmish that left 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese troops dead on June 15 after the PLA reneged on the pull-back agreement that was agreed upon in the corps commander-level meetings on June 6 and June 22.
The disengagement will be a long-drawn process, with India being extremely cautious this time and closely verifying each laid-down de-escalation and disengagement step at the troop confrontation sites on Indian territory at PP-14, 15 and 17A in the Galwan and Hot Springs areas.
As per the proposed disengagement plan, the rival troops will gradually move back distances of 2.5 to 3 km in phases to de-escalate tensions at the face-off sites, which will later be followed by de-induction of huge military build-ups along the LAC.
PLA has deployed well over 20,000 soldiers from its 4th Motorized Infantry Division and 6th Mechanized Infantry Division as well as “reserves” from the Western Theatre Command along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, especially in the strategically-located DaulatRead More – Source
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