The Indian Army is dominating strategic heights at the northern and southern bank of Pangong Tso to challenge the Chinese, but the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to be in control of the ridgeline at Finger 4.
Even though the Chinese army continue to sit atop the Finger 4 ridgeline, the Indian Army has taken over other heights to put pressure on the PLA, sources said.
This could help India in future negotiations as China was not willing to pullback from the finger four mountain tops earlier. This resulted in the disengagement process grinding to a halt.
On the south side of the lake, which has become the new friction point, the Indian Army seems to be in an advantageous position.
The Indian Army has occupied heights that allow it to dominate the Moldo Garrison and the Spangur Gap under Chinese control. Both India and China had earlier claimed some of these heights.
“Dominating the Spangur gap from heights is very crucial. We have also occupied some heights near finger 4,” said an official.
One of the most critical heights the Indian Army is manning is the Rechin La, following which the Chinese army protested.
As present, the Indian Army enjoys a vantage point, not just to monitor Chinese military bases on the south bank of the Pangong Lake, but also keep an eye on the Finger 4 area on the north of the lake.
It may be noted that the mountain spurs jutting out into the lake at more than 14,000 feet are referred to as fingers.
The focus has shifted to the southern bank of the lake that was calm before the PLA troops violated the previous consensus on military and diplomatic engagement on August 29-30 by carrying out provocative military movement to change the status quo, according to the Indian Army.
“Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the southern bank of Pangong lake and undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on the ground,” Indian Army’s statement read.
Army sources added that taking over the hilltops was important to keep the Chinese troops in check as they increased their deployment in areas close to ‘Black Top’ and ‘Helmet’ at LAC on the south bank of LAC, threatening fresh incursions to change status quo.
Meanwhile, Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane landed in Leh on Thursday to review the preparedness as tension continues to escalate. The army chief is on a two-day visit and will be visiting forward areas, sources said.
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