Forces get ‘full freedom’ to use firearms on LAC

The armed forces deployed along the 3,500-km de-facto border with China have been given “full freedom” to give a “befitting” response to any Chinese misadventure, government sources said after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation in eastern Ladakh at a meeting with the top military brass on Sunday.

At the meeting, Singh told top military officers to maintain a strict vigil on Chinese activities around the land border, the airspace and in strategic sea lanes, sources said.

Following the Galwan incident, military sources said, Indian troops will no longer be bound by the long held practice of not using firearms in face-offs. The two armies had mutually decided not to resort to use firearms during face-offs in sync with provisions of two agreements on border management. The agreements were signed in 1996 and 2005.

“Henceforth, our approach will be different. The ground commanders have been given full freedom to take decisions depending on the situation,” a top military official said on the condition of anonymity.

Sunday’s meeting was attended by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

India has sent thousands of additional Army troops to forward locations along the border with China after 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in a brutal attack by Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan valley on June 15. The IAF has moved a sizeable number of its frontline Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 aircraft and Apache attack helicopters to several key air bases, including Leh and Srinagar in the last five days. 

No comments: