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‘We are on the brink of yet another border skirmish with China, especially in Pangong Tso’: Former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor

The Chinese Army has taken positions atop the ridgeline on Finger 4 in Pangong Tso region and are engaged in an 'eyeball to eyeball' situation with the Indian forces located just a few hundred metres away

As tensions continue to simmer between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, the former Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has remarked that the situation in the border areas, especially in Pangong Tso region, may lead to another border skirmish between the two sides after the deadly clashes that erupted in Galwan Valley on June 15.

Repudiating the possibility that a full-fledged war is in the offing, the ex-Army Chief General Kapoor said that he disagreed with the ubiquitous public perception that a war with China is imminent. However, he added border clashes like that happened on June 15 may likely happen in other regions along the LAC. “The possibility that border skirmish like that happened in Galwan Valley is very much there, especially in Pangong Tso region,” General Kapoor said.

Claiming that he is not at all surprised by the Chinese treachery after reports of a massive build-up of Chinese camps and structures yet again at the flashpoint in Galwan Valley, General Kapoor said, “I am not surprised by these Chinese manoeuvres. Till the time we reach a conclusion, both sides agree and all the facts are verified, we have to be prepared for any activities from the Chinese side, be it in the Galwan sector, Depsang sector, Chumar sector, Dongchong area, Sikkim, or towards Arunachal sector. However, I believe the Armed Forces of the country are prepared for any eventuality and we won’t be found napping in any of these sectors.”

Days after the violent clashes in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian Bravehearts and an undisclosed number of Chinese casualties, India Today journalist Shiv Aroor asserted that the focus has now been shifted to the Pangong Tso lake where the intruding Chinese troopers are in ‘eyeball to eyeball’ situation with their Indian counterparts. He also stated that the region has seen 62 new Chinese positions and about 300 structures such as camps and observation posts erected up by the People’s Liberation Army(PLA). The Chinese positions on the top of Finger 4 ridgeline now overlook the Indian positions, making the Indians sitting ducks for the PLA, opined Strategic thinker–Brahma Chellaney.

Violent clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley

At least 20 Indian soldiers, including Commanding Officer, had attained martyrdom in the violent clashes with the Chinese troopers in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, the Indian Army said on Tuesday. The Army had initially claimed that 3 soldiers, including one Commanding Officer, were killed in the skirmishes but later in the evening it revised the figure to 20 saying 17 others had succumbed to their injuries due to the prolonged exposure to sub-zero temperatures.

Though Beijing remained reticent on the number of casualties suffered by it, the Indian Government said that the Chinese side endured heavy casualties with close to 43-45 PLA soldiers been seriously injured or killed in the clashes. Now, a US intel report has stated that at least 35 Chinese soldiers have perished in the brawl at the Galwan Valley.

The killing of the Indian soldiers marks the Indian Army’s worst losses since the Kargil War in 1999 and signifies the most intense military combat between India and China since 1967 when about 80 Indian soldiers and at least 300 Chinese PLA troops were killed in the course of the savage skirmishes that broke out near the Nathu La and Cho Lo passes, the strategic gateway to the crucial Chumbi valley.

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