Tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) continued into 2021 and late 2022 amid the standoff in eastern Ladakh and China's continued attempts to intrude into Indian territory, new details revealed.
The Army has presented gallantry awards to personnel for acts of bravery in this regard at two investiture ceremonies held in recent days on the eve of Army Day on January 15. One of these acts involved relaying live feeds from the enemy side in Sikkim for 120 hours, he was deployed by a Major Officer in the area for which he was awarded the Sena Medal (Gallantry).
This November 2022 incident, for which the certificate was read at the investiture ceremony of the Central Command, also noting the harsh conditions and high altitude area in which the officer was operating.
As new details of tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors emerged, the Army's Western Command quickly withdrew the video of the investiture ceremony, while Central Command's was available when last accessed by this reporter. The ceremony took place for operations between September 2021 and November 2022.
Other quotes reveal clashes between troops at Shankar Tekri in January 2022 and another clash in November 2022 when People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops attempted to capture Atari post after crossing the LAC.
In the first combat deaths in 45 years, 20 Indian soldiers died in the violent clash after they were attacked by Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on the night of June 15, 2020, during a “de-escalation process” following a months-long standoff between troops several points in eastern Ladakh and Sikkim. In addition, shots were fired on the southern bank of Pangong Lake in August and September, but no injuries were reported. This was the first time shots were fired along the LAC since 1975.
Towards the end of August 2020, the Army was engaged in intense fighting to gain a tactical advantage over the PLA on the north and south banks of the Pangong Tso after it had advanced deep into Indian territory with tanks from both sides just a few hundred meters away from each other.
On the situation on the northern border with China, Army Chief General Manoj Pande said last week that the situation on the northern border was “stable but delicate”. “We continue to talk to find a solution to the balance problems between both sides. The operational readiness is very high and the deployment is robust and balanced…” he explained.
After the standoff began in eastern Ladakh in April 2020, India and China had deployed thousands of troops in forward posts along the LAC in the region, most of which remain deployed with disengagement and de-escalation still ongoing. Both sides continue to station over 50,000 troops in the region.
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