Corps Commanders agree to disengage from Gogra, reply from Chinese government awaited

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The military hierarchy of India and China which met under the leadership of Corps Commanders took a decision to disengage from Gogra (Patrolling Point 17A). “Both the Corp Commanders agreed to disengage from Gogra but the final go ahead is to come from the political hierarchies of both the government,” a senior official said.

There is a platoon level strength stationed in standoff mode at Gogra. Once the go-ahead comes, soldiers will retreat to a designated position on ground and will leave a buffer zone in between on the pattern of the buffer zone at the North Bank. During the 12th meeting held on Saturday Lt Gen PGK Menon Corps Commander (14 Crops) led the delegation from Indian Army and Maj Gen Liu Lin, Commander South Xinjian Military District of the Chinese PLA.

In an earlier step towards ameliorating the tensions both India and China had earlier disengaged their troops along with their weapons and equipment including tanks, artillery guns and mechanized vehicles and had created buffer zones at the North and South banks of the Pangong Tso.

The Chinese troops at the North Bank had moved back North of Finger 8 and Indian soldiers retreated close to Finger 3. The area in between will be the buffer zone with a temporary moratorium on patrolling from both sides.

Also, the troops were disengaged from Galwan (Patrolling Point 14) which was the sight of deadly skirmishes leading to loss of lives of soldiers from both the Armies.

As reported earlier by the TNIE the officials on ground had indicated the disengagement to take place both at Gogra and Hotspring (Patrolling Point 15) but the decision could be arrived at one of the two.

The Chinese rushed in soldiers after the clashes at Finger 4 in May 2020 and the standoff deployment was done at both the Banks of the Pangong Tso, Hotspring, Gogra, Galwan. The Standoff also existed at Depsang and Demchok.

The rallies of talks have been to bring the deployment level to the status quo ante, which existed prior to May 2020. There are mirror deployments from both sides with the Chinese moving in four divisions along the Eastern Ladakh Line of Actual Control. Indian army has also mobilised and stationed four divisions to counter any movement and also to handle the standoff deployment.

Other than talks at the various levels, the hotline was used extensively. There have been frantic talks which used to be up to five hotline calls in a day. “The Hot Line talks between May 2020 and till July have been 1450 times.” said an official. A new hotline, sixth so far, was established on Sunday between Indian Army in Kongra La, North Sikkim and PLA at Khamba Dzong in Tibetan Autonomous Region to further the spirit of trust and cordial relations along the borders.

There have been 12 meetings so far between the Corps Commanders (Senior Higher Military Commander Level: SCML), 10 between the Division Commanders (Higher Military Commander Level: HCML) and 55 Delegation Level (Sector Commanders or Brigadier Level).

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