Indian and Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Friday have started pulling back from Gogra or Patrol Point-17A. Notably, Gogra is one of the friction points on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries in the Eastern Ladakh sector. The breakthrough came after the 12th round of commander level talks between the two armies. The talks were held on July 31 at Chushul Moldo Meeting Point in Eastern Ladakh.
The Defence Ministry in a statement said, “The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on resolution of remaining areas related to disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas. As an outcome of the meeting, both sides agreed on disengagement in the area of Gogra. The troops in this area have been in a face-off situation since May last year.” Fact Check: No Fresh Clashes Reported at LAC Between Indian Army And PLA Troops; PIB Debunks Fake Media Report.
The ministry added, “As per the agreement, both sides have ceased forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. The disengagement process was carried out over two days i.e. August 4 and 5, 2021. The troops of both sides are now in their respective permanent bases.” All temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides have been dismantled and mutually verified. The landform in the area has been restored by both sides to pre-stand off period. PLA Soldiers Crying on Way to LAC in Ladakh? Video Goes Viral Amid India-China Border Dispute.
This agreement ensures that the LAC in this area will be strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that there is no unilateral change in status quo. With this one more sensitive area of face-off has been resolved. Both sides have expressed commitment to take the talks forward and resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector. The Indian Army along with ITBP is totally committed to ensure the sovereignty of the nation and maintain peace & tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector.
Meanwhile, disengagement at Hot Springs and Depsang have not taken place. Both armies have reported deployed around 50,000 to 60,000 troops each in the Ladakh theatre due to the standoff. In February this year, Indian and Chinese troops withdrew from North and South banks of the Pangong Lake.
The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on the evening of May 5; Over 100 Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in the violence. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.
In June last year, Indian and Chinese soldiers were engaged in a violent clash at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. Twenty Indian Army soldiers were martyred in the clash. According to reports around 40 Chinese troops were also killed in the Galwan Valley clash. However, China officially confirmed only the death of four soldiers.
(Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)