Ladakh Standoff: Fighters, Warships Moved to Forward Bases

NEW DELHI: The Indian government has given powers to the armed forces to make emergency procurements to stock up its war reserves in the wake of escalating conflict with China along the Line of Actual Control, media reports said here on Wednesday.

Government has asked Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat to coordinate with the three services on prioritising the requirements, where necessary, The Economic Times reported.

Navy has also been given the go-ahead to deploy its assets near the Malacca Strait and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese action, the report added.

ET reported Air Force assets, including fighters, too have been moved up to forward locations.

Meanwhile situation along Line of Actual Control in Ladakh remained tense with at least four Indian Army soldiers having received “critical injuries.” The “casualties could increase” further in what is being seen as one of the deadliest attack in 45 years, carried out by Chinese Army at Line of Actual Control.

According to the news agency ANI, four soldiers were critically injured during the face-off.

However, government sources quoted by news agency IANS said that the number of critically injured personnel is in double digit. Indian Army refused to comment on the numbers and stated that several are injured.

The attack on Indian Army personnel by the Chinese Army took place on Monday night and it continued for almost six to seven hours.

On Tuesday, Indian helicopters flew around 16 times to bring bodies and injured Indian Army personnel from the site of attack at Galwan Valley in Ladakh region, government sources said. Four bodies of Indian Army personnel were flown to Leh from Galwan on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, Indian Army stated that 20 of their men, including officers, were killed in an unprecedented violent clash with the Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley. The force also said the attack was brutal and injuries sustained were critical.

Indian Army issued a statement late on Tuesday night, and said, “Seventeen Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20.”

The force further stated that Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of June 15 and June 16, 2020.”

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