India-China Border Row: Patrolling will continue from Indian side, says ITBP chief

According to ITBP, even as the disengagement of frontline soldiers at the north and south banks of Pangong Tso is completed, the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) will continue to patrol areas in Ladakh that were not friction points between India and China.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Feb 23, 2021 16:53 IST
India-China Border Row: Patrolling will continue from Indian side, says ITBP chief
Indo-Tibetan Border Police

According to ITBP DG SS Deswal, Although the disengagement between India & China is complete, the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) will continue to patrol areas in Ladakh that were not friction points between India and China.

Patrolling in these areas had come to a standstill due to the tensions, people familiar with the development had earlier said. As part of the agreement on disengagement, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army moved its forces to the east of Finger 8 on the north bank and the Indian Army to its base near Finger 3.

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According to SS Deswal, the patrolling will be strengthened and Army will be deployed behind the ITBP to make sure that China doesn't orchestrate another misadventure across the Indian border. 

In addition to this, another ITBP officer said, "We will also maintain status quo for now at its Border Outposts (BOPs) in the Ladakh region, which were strengthened by some 60 additional companies (around 6,000 personnel) in June-July after the Galwan valley clash on June 15-16 in which 20 Indian army soldiers and an unknown number of PLA troops were killed."

According to him, at least 25 to 30 additional personnel had been deployed in most BOPs of ITBP in Eastern Ladakh; usually, 100 to 110 personnel are deployed in each border outpost.

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ITBP also confirmed that the infrastructure development, including the construction of roads, repair/construction of jawans’ barracks/posts, and 47 new BOPs sanctioned by the government across the 3,488km-long border with China will continue as well.

In fact, ITBP’s first “climate-controlled” BOP at Lukung Valley along the strategic Pangong Tso Lake, built at a cost of around ₹17 crores, is currently under testing. The state-of-the-art BOP is likely to be officially operationalized by April or May this year.

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