New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday held a high-level meeting with top military brass on the situation in eastern Ladakh. Sources said the armed forces deployed along the 3,500-km de-facto border with China have been given “full freedom” in giving “befitting” reply to any Chinese aggressive behaviour. Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: Amid Tensions With China, CDS General Bipin Rawat to Visit Leh Today
In the wake of Monday night’s barbaric attack by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops on their Indian counterparts in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, the Centre has now changed the Rules of Engagement (RoE) with China across the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: Centre to Purchase Fighter Jets to Bolster Army; Air Force Says Will Enhance Operational Capabilities
As per the new RoE, the Indian Army can use firearms and have full authority to respond to ‘extraordinary’ situations using all resources at their disposal. The commanders at LAC can now give their troops ‘complete freedom of action’ to handle situations at the tactical level. Also Read - India-China Standoff: Rajnath Singh Cancels Ladakh Trip, 'Waiting' For Chinese Military to Disengage
The 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.
The sources said Singh told the top military brass to maintain a strict vigil on Chinese activities around the land border, airspace and in strategic sea lanes and asked them to adopt a “tough” approach in dealing with any misadventure by Chinese forces.
Indian and Chinese armies have been on a six-week standoff in several areas of eastern Ladakh. The ties between the two countries came under severe strain after Chinese military killed 20 Indian Army personnel and injured around 76 in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley on June 15.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has not yet talked about the number of casualties it suffered.
The sources said the armed forces have been given full freedom to deal with any act of aggression by China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between the two countries.
They said the Army as well as the IAF have already been ramping up their operational capabilities along the LAC to effectively deal with any Chinese misadventure.
(With PTI Inputs)