From Bhupen Goswami
GUWAHATI : A senior Defence Ministry official said in Guwahati on Tuesday that the Indian Army has been deployed along the Line of Actual Control with full preparedness to take on China. Army Eastern Commander Lt Gen Manoj Pandey took stock of the entire situation in Sikkim and Arunachal and visited the forward post to take stock of the security situation. He praised the harsh weather and the commitment of the soldiers in difficult areas and tested the security arrangements. With one year of galwan conflict with China to complete, Indian commanders in the adjoining areas of the “Line of Actual Control” LAC are fully geared up.
Lt Gen Manoj Pandey had recently taken over as the new commander of the Army’s Eastern Command. The command is deployed to guard the Line of Actual Control with China in the areas of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. China’s PLA army uses poles, spears, stones and other non-lethal weapons of sporadic fighting and conflict with Indian troops on the LAC. Indian soldiers are now stationed at LAC with special reat-gear, helmets, glass-shields and batons. For the first time, pictures of line of actually control (LAC) adjacent to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have surfaced showing Indian soldiers carrying poles. However, armed soldiers armed with nightvision equipment are also seen. In fact, Lt Gen Manoj Pandey, commander of the Army’s Eastern Command in Kolkata, visited the Lion Strike Division at Kalimpong. A senior Defence Ministry official said, the Army Commander also visited the forward location under the division deployed along the China border in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. He also met the soldiers posted there. Pictures of the meeting have been officially released by the Eastern Command. It is in these pictures that the army-written glass shield is accompanied by helmets and riot-gear, a special dress worn by the police during the riots. This is the first time such a picture has surfaced. A senior Defence Ministry official said, the Indian Army has been deployed along the Line of Actual Control with full preparedness to take on China.
The soldiers posted at LAC have got special uniforms. The Indian Army had ordered such a special riot-gear last year about the violence in the Galwan Valley. Because chinese soldiers wore similar riot gears during clashes in the Galwan Valley and finger area. According to the treaty between India and China, troops of the two countries cannot fire on the LAC. During that time, indian soldiers had a lot of difficulty in fighting the PLA army of China. Because Indian soldiers were deployed with INSAS or AK-47 rifles. But being bound by the treaty, they could not fire.
However, the government has now freed the army from the treaty and ordered retaliation according to the situation. That is why, on the night of August 29-30 last year, there was also an incident of firing during the pre-emptive operation. But now Indian soldiers, like china’s PLA army, are stationed on lac wearing riot gear. It is mentioned that India shares 3488 km of border with China which runs with the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh. China’s Tibet Autonomous Region also touched the border with India. A Chinese push to build civilian settlements on disputed borders in the Himalayan region has emerged as a major new concern for India as India’s analysts say it reiterates Beijing’s strategy to strengthen claims in the South China Sea. The red flag has been raised by 1500 new Chinese-made villages in the disputed area by the two countries on the border in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.