New Delhi: With the military standoff with India in Ladakh since last year, the Chinese Army has increased its activities along the Barahoti area in Uttarakhand, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as a platoon of the People's Liberation Army was seen operating recently.
The defence ministry does not want to take any chance at China entering this new area. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Lt General Yogendra Dimri, General Officer Commanding in chief of the Central Command of the Indian Army, quietly visited this border early this month to review the situation and mount the operational preparedness.
Both are from Uttarakhand and so know the contours of the hill state having the borders with China. Prior to his appointment to the Central Command, Dimri had commanded XXI Corps and infantry brigade on the Line of Control (LOC. An engineer by education, he was commissioned in the Indian Army's regiment Bombay Engineer Group in 1983.
The ministry sources confirmed the Chinese exploration of the area. They said: "Recently a platoon (around 35 troops) of the PLA were seen operating around Barahoti area and surveying the area. The Chinese have been seen doing some activity around this area after a significant gap."
The Chinese troops were constantly monitored in the area during their stay there, the sources said, adding that the Indian side has also made adequate arrangements in the area for any eventuality. They said the Indian operational preparedness is high all along the central sector and hence any aggressive activity by China will be nipped in the bud.
The Chinese activity at an air bae near the Barahoti area has also gone up and a large number of drones have been deployed there by them, the sources said.
India has positioned additional troops in the central sector and many rear formations have gone ahead there, the sources said. Since the heavy rains and landslides in Uttarakhand during this time may pose problems to the troops, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has also activated a few air bases there, including the Chinyalisaund advanced landing ground where the AN-32s have been making frequent landings.''
The Chinook heavy-lift copters are also put into operation there. They are capable of carrying out inter-valley troop transfers, whenever required, the sources added.