Army augments forces at LAC, navy alert in Indian Ocean after Ladakh face-off: Officials

Army augments forces at LAC, navy alert in Indian Ocean after Ladakh face-off: Officials

India has warned China that the face-off in which 20 of its soldiers were killed, will have serious impact on the bilateral ties.

Foreign minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in a phone conversation on Wednesday that the Chinese side’s “pre-meditated and planned action” was behind the violence and casualties. This was the first time Jaishankar spoke to Wang since the stand-off began in early May.

The Indian Army has strengthened its posture across the length of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where reinforcements have been sent, the Indian Air Force is keeping its contingency plans ready and the navy is also on alert in the Indian Ocean region where scores of warships are ready for any task, three military officers said on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity.

India will, however, not resort to any knee-jerk reaction. It will take well considered action at an appropriate time, necessary to protect integrity and sovereignty of the country and its national interest, the officials added.

“Hopefully, good sense will prevail (upon China). We have several options and we will not hesitate to exercise them depending on the situation,” one of the government officials said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), meanwhile, is holding crucial meetings on the infrastructure development along the China border. A road being built by India in the Galwan Valley is the reason for latest confrontation between the two countries. The crucial road will help India easily transport supplies to its soldiers in the remote Ladakh region.

The MHA held a meeting with Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) and other agencies like Border Road Organisations, Central Public Works Department on Wednesday, news agency ANI reported. At the meeting, the MHA took initiatives to speed up the process of road construction, ANI further reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said on Wednesday that India wanted peace but wouldn’t hesitate to respond to any provocation. Addressing a virtual meeting with chief ministers on the Covid-19 crisis, PM Modi said, “India’s integrity and sovereignty is supreme for us, and no one can stop us from defending it. Nobody should have any iota of doubt about this. India wants peace. But on provocation, India will give a befitting reply.”

The meeting observed two minutes silence to pay tribute to the 20 soldiers killed in the face-off on Monday night.


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