Amid tension along LAC army chief reaches Ladakh, President to visit Monday
General Rawat is likely to take stock of the operational preparedness of the Indian army at the Line of Actual Control that separates Indian and Chinese territories.india Updated: Aug 20, 2017 22:29 IST
Army chief general Bipin Rawat on Sunday embarked on a three-day visit to Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir against the backdrop of Chinese incursion attempt in the area near Pangong Lake earlier this week.
Though a senior army official termed the visit a “routine affair”, defence sources said Rawat will take stock of the operational preparedness of the Indian army at the Line of Actual Control, a demarcation line that separates Indian and Chinese territories.
The army chief will also be present at a function where President Ram Nath Kovind will present President’s Colours to Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre on Monday.
It will be the President’s maiden visit to the heavily militarised zone after he assumed the country’s highest constitutional office last month.
“The army chief arrived on Sunday at Leh and tomorrow (Monday) the president (Ram Nath Kovind) will be reaching there to attend a function of the Ladakh Scouts where he will present presidential colours to the passing-out cadets,” said a top officer of the Udhampur based Northern Command.
The Northern Army commander Lt Gen Devraj Anbu along with other top army commanders had already reached Leh.
The visit assumes significance as it comes amidst ongoing standoff between the two nuclear-armed nations at Dokhlam in the Sikkim sector and on the heels of the August 15 Chinese incursion bid near Pangong Lake.
The troops of the two Asian giants scuffled and pelted stones at each other near the picturesque lake in the Himalayas.
The LAC in Ladakh has not been clearly delineated and as a result PLA and Indian soldiers patrol their respective territories as per their perceptions.
Security experts expressed serious concerns over the stone pelting as such incident never happened in Ladakh region,w here the two sides had been strictly adhering to the banner drills and other border-management mechanisms to defuse tension and resolve perceived incursions.
Sources said the army chief will visit some forward posts and meet formation commanders there.
The president is also likely to visit some forward posts in the region.
Kovind will be received by Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and general Rawat at the Leh airport.
Pratibha Patil was the last President to visit the area. She had visited Ladakh in September 2010 to take stock of the situation after a cloudburst caused large-scale devastation.
First Published: Aug 20, 2017 22:29 IST