Indian and Chinese troops on Monday retreated from Petrol Point-15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area of eastern Ladakh. As part of a five-day process of withdrawing troops from the standoff site, both the countries sent frontline troops to the rear. Along with this, the temporary infrastructure there has also been demolished. Sources gave this information. He said both sides have gone back as planned, including jointly verifying the entire process. “Full details are awaited from the local commander regarding the retreat and verification process,” a source said.
Both sides withdrew from Patrol Post-15 (PP-15), but no progress has been made so far in resolving the standoff in Demchok and Depsang areas. The armies of India and China announced on September 8 that they had begun the withdrawal of troops from the PP-15, continuing the stalled process of removing troops from the standoff points in the region. On the sidelines of an event, when asked about the retreat of troops in PP-15, Army Chief General Manoj Pandey said, “I will have to go and take stock. But it (the process of withdrawing the soldiers) is happening as per the schedule and decision.
Sources said that all the temporary infrastructure created at the site of the collision has been destroyed. It is not known at this time whether the two sides will create a “buffer zone” on PP-15, as seen in the removal of troops from standoff points on the northern and southern banks of Pangong Lake and on patrol post-17(A) last year. was done after. Neither side patrols the ‘buffer zone’. Announcing the start of the process on September 8, the two armies had said that as a result of the 16th round of high-level military talks in July, it was agreed to withdraw troops in the Gogra-Hotsprings area.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said on September 9 that the process of withdrawing troops in PP-15 would be completed by Monday. Bagchi said, “As per the agreement, the process of withdrawal of troops in this area started at 8.30 am on September 8 and will be completed by September 12. Both sides have agreed to halt further deployment in the region in a phased, coordinated and verified manner, resulting in the withdrawal of troops from both sides to their respective areas.
“It has been agreed that all temporary structures and other associated infrastructure built in the area by both sides will be dismantled and mutually verified,” he said. The territory in the area will be restored to the previous state by both sides.” He said the agreement ensures that the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the region will be strictly followed and respected by both sides, and as the case may be. There will be no one-sided change.
Initially about 30 soldiers from each side were stationed in the PP-15 face to face but the number of troops varied depending on the overall situation in the area. India has been consistently emphasizing that peace and tranquility along the LAC is vital for the overall development of bilateral relations. The eastern Ladakh border standoff began on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area. The withdrawal of troops in the Pangong Lake area took place in February last year, while the withdrawal of troops and military equipment from patrol post-17 (A) in Gogra took place in August last year.
Air Force made the job easy
Army Chief General Manoj Pandey on Monday praised the Indian Air Force’s action in response to developments in eastern Ladakh in 2020. General Pandey said that without the “unprecedented contribution and airlift of the Indian Air Force”, timely delivery of Army troops to eastern Ladakh would not have been possible. General Pandey, who returned to Delhi after completing his two-day visit to Ladakh, said this while addressing the first Indian Army Logistics Conference at the Monkeshaw Center on Monday. He also referred to the border standoff that arose with China in eastern Ladakh two years ago.
Appreciating the role of the Indian Air Force in Eastern Ladakh, General Pandey said that timely delivery of troops to Eastern Ladakh would not have been possible without the IAF’s unprecedented contribution and airlift. Air Chief Marshal VR Choudhary was present on the dais on this occasion.
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