Disengagement process in Gogra-Hotsprings area going as per schedule: Army chief

NEW DELHI: Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande said Monday that the process of the Indian and Chinese militaries disengaging from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area of eastern Ladakh was “going as per schedule”. He added: “I will have to go and take stock. But it (disengagement process) is going as per schedule, and what was decided.”

Sources in the defence establishment, however, said that the “process of disengagement is still ongoing”.

The latest satellite images showed that China had dismantled its semi-permanent border camps at the friction point known as Patrolling Point 15.  

“After 16 rounds of talks between India and China, one more border friction point has seen disengagement, imagery of the Chinese side confirms that what used to be a border camp has now been removed, but the depth deployments remain,” tweeted Damien Symon, a geospatial intelligence researcher at the Intel Lab, while tagging the satellite image of the area.

Last week, the external affairs ministry had said that the disengagement process will be completed by September 12. MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi had said that according to the agreement, “the disengagement process in this area

started on September 8 at 8.30 am and will be completed by September 12”.

Since the stand-off began in April 2020 between the two countries, the two armies disengaged in Galwan, Pangong Tso, Gogra (PP-17A) and now going on in Gogra-Hot Springs general area (Patrolling Point-15).

There is still the issue of the stand-off at Demchock and PLA forces blocking Indian troops from patrolling at the Depsang Plains.

However, still a large number of troops along with tanks, artillery and air defence missile systems from the Chinese side are deployed at frontline positions at the Line of Actual Control. China has also built massive military infrastructure all along the LAC. The tensions between the two sides will persist till China pulls back the massive number of troops it brought to the front lines at the LAC in April 2020.

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