New Delhi, Sep 27: A video showing Indian army tanks and armoured personnel carriers in forward locations in eastern Ladakh — the theatre of the face-off with China since April-May — has been released by the Centre. The videos show rows of T-90 tanks and BMP vehicles in Chumar-Demchock — possibly the highest deployed tank formation anywhere in the world.
India has repeatedly stressed on the necessity to ensure “stability on the ground” after the latest round of Chinese provocation on August 31. The Chinese soldiers had tried to move in on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control near the south bank of Ladakh’s Pangong Lake.
On the night of August 29 and August 30, the People’s Liberation Army had moved their tanks and troops at night, in contravention of confidence building measures that ban military movements at night. On August 31, more troop movements took pace as ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to de-escalate the situation.
The army is now determined to strengthen security in the whole area.
”Fire and Fury Corps is the only formation of Indian Army and also in the world to have actually deployed mechanised forces in such harsh terrain. Maintenance of tanks, infantry combat vehicles and heavy guns is a challenge in this terrain,” said Major General Arvind Kapoor, the Chief of Staff of 14 Corps.
The BMP vehicles can function in temperatures of up to minus 40 degrees Celsius.
China has also augmented its fire-power in high-altitude areas of Ladakh. Earlier this month, a video of a military exercise at the high-altitude Tibet Autonomous Region was tweeted by the editor of Global Times. The video, which showed an array of multi-barrel rocket launchers in action, came hours ahead of talks between foreign ministers of the two nations.
In his recent statement to the Lok Sabha, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had issued what was seen as a clear warning to China, saying India is “very serious about issues of sovereignty” and the country is prepared for “all contingencies” to ensure that it is maintained.
India, however, has maintained that it is ready to resolve the border issue in a peaceful manner and wants the Chinese side “to work together with us”.