Army: Increasing troop presence on LAC an option
The army on Wednesday briefed the UPA government on the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, giving it a slew of options to deal with the Chinese incursion, including a proposal to increase troop levels on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).delhi Updated: May 02, 2013 00:52 IST
The army on Wednesday briefed the UPA government on the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, giving it a slew of options to deal with the Chinese incursion, including a proposal to increase troop levels on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The army's inputs to the government came after the third brigadier-level "flag meeting" between the two sides on Tuesday failed to find a solution to the flare-up on the disputed border.
Briefing the cabinet committee on security, Army chief General Bikram Singh is learnt to have listed steps India could take in case the Chinese refuse to pull out of Indian territory.
Indian soldiers have been eyeball-to-eyeball with the Chinese in the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector since April 15, after Chinese soldiers pitched tents 19km inside the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control.
Army sources have maintained that it is possible to cut off the supply lines of Chinese troops, but some in the military establishment believe it could escalate tensions along the disputed border.
The army is believed to have conveyed to the government that force levels at the DBO airstrip could be increased to demonstrate that India could deploy troops swiftly.
The 2.1-km airstrip was reactivated in 2008 after 43 years to provide logistics support to troops in the Ladakh sector.
Army sources said Leh-based 14 Corps could deploy additional troops in eastern Ladakh if required.
While the government has maintained that the Chinese intrusion is localised in nature, the sources said the possibility of China increasing troop levels could not be ruled out.
Three flag meetings to defuse the border tension have flopped, with China objecting to increased military activity, 'aggressive patrolling' by the army and ramping up of infrastructure on the Indian side of the LAC.
The Chinese contention is that some of the military and infrastructure buildup is in violation of protocols that govern borders, which have not been mutually delineated.