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India, China continue to militarily reinforce positions but no evacuation of border villages yet

10 August, 2017 5:39 PM
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India, China continue to militarily reinforce positions but no evacuation of border villages yet

Government sources said there has been “some build-up” in terms of additional troops and tanks as well as artillery and air defence units in the Tibet Military District by PLA, but there is “no major or unusual mobilization” towards the Line of Actual Control as yet to send alarm bells clanging.

NEW DELHI: India and China continue to militarily reinforce their positions with the almost two-month long troop standoff in Doklam showing little signs of de-escalation, even as the Army on Thursday denied it had ordered evacuation of some villages near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

Government sources said there has been "some build-up" in terms of additional troops and tanks as well as artillery and air defence units in the Tibet Military District by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), but there is "no major or unusual mobilization" towards the Line of Actual Control as yet to send alarm bells clanging in the Indian security establishment.

"Any major PLA mobilization towards our border will be detected since it will take around a week. Our well-acclimatized troops, backed by artillery, rockets and other heavy-calibre weapons, are currently deployed in the 'no war, no peace' mode. They are ready to respond quickly if required," said a source.

Diplomatic channels, however, are also being used in a bid to diffuse the tense faceoff in the Bhutanese territory of Doklam, which erupted after Indian soldiers pro-actively blocked an attempt by the PLA to build a motorable road towards the tri-junction in mid-June. "There is likely to be a border personnel meeting at Nathu La on Friday," said another source.

At the actual faceoff site in Doklam, which China is keen to usurp to add strategic depth to its narrow Chumbi Valley, there are only 300-350 soldiers ranged against each other. Concertina wire coils around 150 metres long separate them at the site located over an altitude of 11,000-feet, with both having also built makeshift defences after earlier pitching tents and establishing logistical supply lines. The PLA has deployed another 1,500 soldiers just beyond the standoff site to flex its muscles, as earlier reported by TOI.

Also read: 'Extremely dissatisfied' China blames India for Ladakh scuffle

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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