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India Has Lost Presence In 26 Of 65 Patrol Points In Eastern Ladakh: Report

PLA has benefited from buffer zones in de-escalation talks, the officer wrote. (File)

New Delhi:

India has lost access to 26 of 65 patrol points in eastern Ladakh, a report from a senior union police officer said, in a worrying new revelation amid the country’s standoff with China at several flashpoints along their shaky border of India. 3,500 km.

“Currently, there are 65 PPs (Patrolling Points) from Karakoram pass to Chumur which will be regularly patrolled by the ISFs (Indian Security Forces). Out of 65 PPs, our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP No. 5-17 , 24-32, 37, due to restrictive or no patrols by the ISFs,” wrote PD Nitya, the superintendent of police of Leh, Ladakh’s main city, according to the investigative document accessed by NDTV.

The report was presented last week at the annual conference of the country’s top police officers in Delhi, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

“Later on, China forced us to accept the fact that since such areas have not seen any ISFs or civilians for a long time, the Chinese were present in these areas. This leads to a shift of the border under the control of ISFs to the Indian side. And A “buffer zone” is created in all these pockets, which ultimately leads to India losing control of these areas. This tactic by PLA (China’s People’s Liberation Army) to seize land inch by inch is known as “Salami slicing”. it said.

“PLA has taken advantage of the buffer zones in the de-escalation talks by putting their best cameras on the highest peaks and monitoring the movement of our troops… they object to our movement even in the buffer zone, claiming that it’s ‘ their’ area of ​​operations and then proceed to ask us to go back to create more ‘buffer’ areas,” the officer wrote.

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She said this Chinese strategy was seen in the Galwan Valley, the site of a deadly clash in 2020, when 20 Indian troops and at least four Chinese soldiers died in hand-to-hand combat.

Ms Nitya also said that marking areas as off limits and keeping them bare also affects the morale of the troops. “While interacting with a senior officer whose unit is stationed right in the forward area, he shared that if by retreating 400 yards we can buy peace with PLA for 4 years, then it will be worth it,” the report said. .

The government has yet to comment on the disclosure. Speak against The Hindu newspaper, which first reported on the police officer’s investigative report, a defense source refuted his claims, saying “there is no loss of territory due to withdrawal in areas of friction”.

“Some areas are restricted for patrols for both sides pending diplomatic resolution of disputes. No pastures have been lost. In decoupled areas, we have as many cameras and technical assets as the PLA and therefore dominate the area as much if not more. the newspaper quotes the source.

They said the army “encouraged and provided all facilities”, in cooperation with the civilian administration, to allow the local population and their livestock to graze.

The report comes just over a month after India accused China of trying to “unilaterally change the status quo” at their de facto border, known as the Line of Actual Control, when troops on both sides were injured in clashes.

The December 9 incident in Arunachal Pradesh was seen as the most serious confrontation since the 2020 Galwan Valley clash, which led to a sharp escalation of hostilities between the two countries. Since then, a series of military talks have led to a tentative withdrawal of troops on both sides.

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