“The Chinese Army has deployed around two divisions worth of troops (around 20,000) along the LAC in the Eastern Ladakh sector. There is another division (10,000 troops) which has been stationed by it in the Northern Xinjiang province almost a 1,000 kilometres from the front but they can be mobilised to reach our frontiers in maximum 48 hours time due to the flat terrain on the Chinese side,” top government sources told ANI.
“We are keeping a close eye on the movement of these troops along with the ones which have been deployed close to the Indian territory,” the sources said.
The sources said that even though India and China have been talking at the diplomatic and the military level for over six weeks now, there has been no thinning down in troop numbers or equipment by the Chinese side on this front, they said.
Sources said the Chinese normally also have two divisions deployed in the Tibet region but this time, they have brought in close to two divisions extra from locations as far as 2,000 kilometres from mainland China for deployment against the Indian positions.
Sources said the Indian side has also beefed up positions and added at least two divisions from nearby locations for the Eastern Ladakh sector. This includes a reserve mountain division which every year conducts its wargames in the Eastern Ladakh area.
Tanks and BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles have been also flown in by the Air Force in addition to the existing elements of the armoured brigade deployed close to the DBO sector.
Eastern Ladakh sector, is at present, guarded by the Karu-based Trishul Infantry Division along with its three brigades located all along the LAC.
Looking at the Chinese aggression and deployment along the DBO sector from Galwan Valley onwards to the Karakoram Pass area, the Indian Army is now also considering the deployment of another division in that sector, the sources said.
In the Pangong Tso lake and the Finger area, the Chinese have now stationed themselves very strongly on the Finger 8 area where they have established their administrative base along with deployment of heavy vehicles and bigger boats.
“The road built by the Chinese from the Finger 8 to Finger 5 alongside the lake also helps them in the quick transfer of troops from there to the Finger 4 base. The reaction time of the Chinese to move their troops is much shorter than the Indian side,” the sources said. The Chinese are also creating proper military infrastructure in the area under them near the lake,” the sources said.
The Chinese side had marched in its troops in heavy numbers in the Finger area and Pangong Tso lake on May 18-19 when they marched in with almost 2,500 soldiers against around 200 Indian soldiers deployed there on the bank of the lake. Depicting the Chinese movement near the lake and in it as a “locust attack”, sources said the Chinese have not been allowing Indian patrols to go on patrolling beyond the Finger 3 where the Indian side also has an administrative base.
The sources said that despite talks being done with the Chinese at the military and diplomatic levels, it seems that the time taken for the resolution of the crisis would be very long and the Indian side is also preparing itself for a long haul. “The deployment is expected to continue till September-October time frame when snowfall starts in a big way in the high altitude terrain,” the sources said.
In the Galwan river valley, the sources said the Chinese deployment would be more difficult in the summer months and the condition would become relatively easier during the winter months when the water would freeze, the sources said.
The massive deployment on both sides started when the Chinese side first marched close to the Patrolling Point 14 in Galwan river valley on May 4-5 to claim the territory there and asking the Indian side to go west of the Shyok river near the Indian position KM-120 there.