Indian Army occupies more heights around Ladakh lake

the asian age  | Pawan Bali

India, All India

Indian now has tactical advantage on both the north and south banks of Pangong Tso

A banner erected by the Indian Army stands on a ridge around the Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh. India and China are engaged in a standoff around the lake in Ladakh. (AP)

New Delhi: The Indian Army has reportedly occupied heights on the north bank of Pangong Tso which overlook Chinese positions on the ridge lines in the Finger 4 area.  This means that the Indian Army now has a tactical advantage on both the north and south banks of the Pangong Tso.

Mountain warfare is all about dominating the heights, and since they have come under the Indian Army’s control, there are reports that China has started building up its forces on the north bank of the Pangong Tso and is trying to come closer to the Indian position at Finger 4.

The whole Pangong Tso area in the Ladakh sector is on edge with expectation of some kind of action from the Chinese Army to regain lost ground on the south of the lake where India had in a pre-emptive move occupied two dozen strategic heights.

What has added to the tension is the fact that now all the action in the Pangong Tso area is being controlled directly by commanders in Beijing and it’s no longer in the hands of local PLA officers.

To put pressure on India, China had also brought forward its 15-20 tanks near Spanggur Gap, a mountain pass on the LAC, between China and India. India too has deployed its battle tanks.

In its Moldo garrison, China has now deployed 5,000-7,000 soldiers and India has a similar number in the area.

Chinese troops are on a daily basis trying to threaten Indians positions. India has built defences and put barbed wire around its positions and has warned the Chinese that crossing these wires will attract strong reaction from the Indian Army.

On Monday night the Chinese Army tried to remove the barbed wire but were warned to go back. Chinese troops then fired in the air to intimidate Indian soldiers. PLA troops were carrying what looked like traditional Guandao weapons (a single-edge sword-like blade on the end of a pole) and had automatic rifles.

In May, the Chinese Army had crossed the LAC on the north bank of Pangong Tso and occupied 8 km between Finger 4 and Finger 8 areas. In all diplomatic and military talks between the two countries since, China has bluntly refused to vacate the occupied area.

The Finger Area refers to a set of eight cliffs jutting out of the Sirijap range overlooking Pangong lake (tso). Before the PLA grabbed positions on Finger 4 overlooking Indian deployments, the Army would patrol right up to Finger 8 that New Delhi considers within Indian territory.