India Rushing More Troops To Ladakh

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NEW DELHI – India is deploying one more division of military in frontier Kashmir region of Ladakh following escalating tension with China over disputed border, union minister and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah disclosed today.

“We people have Army there (in Ladakh). (We have) one full division there and now we are putting another division there because we have threat from China and I don’t say that outside but I am telling you because you are Indians, Abdullah told young students, scholars and scientists at the Northern Regional Science Congress in New Delhi.  

“India is befriending China on one hand and remaining “cautious” on the other by deploying more troops in Ladakh region due to “threat” perception, having learnt lessons from the past, he said.

Incidentally, these candid revelations came in the midst of his speech about the Ladakh region having an abundance of wind energy resources.

PTI meanwhile reported on Monday that Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh is expected to take up the issue of raising an offensive Corps including around one lakh soldiers along the China border in a presentation soon to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the shortages faced by the 1.3 million-strong force.

There has been no let up in China’s needling of India all along the unresolved 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), with its troops continuing to regularly “transgress” into Indian territory.

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops have also stepped up their aggressive patrolling in eastern Ladakh in recent months. There was some kind of a face-off between PLA troops and Indian soldiers in the Chumar area of the Nyoma sector on July 29 when a large Chinese patrol crossed over into what is perceived to be Indian territory.

In the briefing before the Prime Minister, Gen Singh is expected to discuss the issue and need for raising a Mountain Corps with offensive capabilities along the boundary with China in the northeastern sector, PTI quoting sources said.

The around Rs.64,000 crore proposal is in the final stages of being vetted by the three Services and is expected to be sent to the Government very soon, they said.

The Army has been taking a number of steps to strengthen its defences along the China border and raised two Divisions there in recent past.

Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia is coordinating with all arms and services to prepare the list of equipment and platforms which are short in inventory and would be required by the force to maintain its operational preparedness.

During the recent Commanders’ Conference also, the Army Chief had said “hollowness” in the country’s defence preparedness will be addressed by pushing for a new direction in modernisation.

“There was a need to address hollowness in defence preparedness and undertake modernisation with added vigour,” he had said.

Gen Bikram Singh’s predecessor Gen V K Singh had highlighted the critical shortage of arms and ammunition faced by the various arms and services of the force in a secret letter written to the Prime Minister.

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