HM reviews operational preparedness of troops along LAC with China

Sanjeev Pargal

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at Leh before leaving for Nyoma.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at Leh before leaving for Nyoma.

JAMMU, Sept 22: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reviewed operational preparedness of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Leh sector during his visit to Nyoma in Leh and declared that India was ready to meet with any eventuality but reiterated that it stands for peace with the neighbours including China.
On second day of his visit to sensitive Leh, Singh couldn’t fly to forward posts along the LAC with China in Leh sector due to adverse weather conditions but reached Nyoma from Leh by road. He visited by road some posts,  which were being manned by the paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) for on spot assessment of the situation prevailing along LAC with China. Later, he met with top Army and ITBP Commanders and officers of civil and police administration at Nyoma for review of the LAC situation.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Union Home Minister, who was accompanied by top ITBP officers including its Director General Krishan Choudhary had detailed inter-action with field commanders and senior officers of the Army and ITBP apart from the jawans manning the extreme forward posts to acquaint himself with situation prevailing along the LAC with China, which was sensitive but peaceful this year barring the incident of Burtse, where Sino-Indian troops were involved in week long standoff after the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) intruded about 500 meters into the Indian territory and installed a watch tower, which was dismantled by the Indian Army. The issue was resolved in two flag meetings.
Sources said the Home Minister would try to visit some forward posts along the LAC and fly over others tomorrow if the weather behaved. Singh had to spend night at Nyoma as he was unable to return to Leh due to continued bad weather conditions.
He was scheduled to fly over Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), Track Junction, Mugro and Burtse Border Out Posts along LAC with China and visit Chungtash, Hot Spring, Chushul and Thakung by road. However, he was confined to Nyoma and could visit only few nearby posts due to heavy rains.
Rajnath Singh held detailed inter-action with the top brass of Army and ITBP exclusively followed by civil and police administration for detailed assessment of situation on the LAC during which he reviewed operational preparedness of India on China sector and requirements of the ITBP, sources said, adding the ITBP is understood to have stressed for equipping their troops with latest modernized gadgetry, improvement in infrastructure up to the LAC and upgradation of their posts.
Lauding courage and valour with which the IBTP jawans were performing their duties in extreme hostile weather and other conditions, Singh is understood to have assured the paramilitary forces that the Government of India headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was already seized of their issues and was determined and committed to address them as early as possible.
Sources said the purpose of the Union Home Minister’s visit to Leh including forward posts of the ITBP was to boost morale of the ITBP jawans, who have been working under very tough conditions along the LAC, assess operational preparedness along the China border and know for himself the requirements of the paramilitary jawans to modernize their post and provide them with latest gadgetry.
According to sources, the Union Home Minister also had inter-action with civil and police officers to know their view point on the situation along the LAC and how the Government of India can go ahead speedily with building of infrastructure in Leh and the LAC to match strength of the China, which had taken rail and road right up to the LAC.
Though not a single shot had been fired on the LAC by either side for past several years, the PLA soldiers sometimes indulged in transgressions inside the Indian territory but return after flag meetings and discussions with the Indian Army. Sources said since there was no demarcated LAC along with China, both sides claim some parts as their territory but the issues are resolved on spot like Burtse incident, which was settled after two simultaneous flag meetings between Indian and Chinese Army officials.
Sources said if the weather was fine, Rajnath Singh might visit some more forward posts of the ITBP tomorrow before returning to New Delhi.
Last night, Rajnath attended a cultural function at Leh, which was organized by Om Arts and Media Group.
Prior to that, Rajnath met BJP leaders separately including party MP from Ladakh Thupstan Chhewang, party’s Rajya Sabha member Shamsher Singh and MLAs including Ravinder Raina, Sat Sharma CA, Dr DK Manyal and Leh unit leaders and discussed with them the local issues and situation prevailing along the LAC with China. The BJP leaders briefed the Union Home Minister about the party’s position in upcoming elections for Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, scheduled for October 17.