India to deploy 10,000 additional soldiers along border with China in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand

The Indian government has freed a strong contingent of 10,000 soldiers—previously deployed at its western border—to strengthen its disputed border with China amid soured relations with Beijing after the June 2020 standoff between the two countries at the Galwan area of Eastern Ladakh

Livemint
First Published7 Mar 2024
The report said an existing contingent of 9,000 soldiers, already deployed to the disputed Chinese border, will be brought under the newly created fighting command
The report said an existing contingent of 9,000 soldiers, already deployed to the disputed Chinese border, will be brought under the newly created fighting command

The Indian government has freed a strong contingent of 10,000 soldiers—previously deployed at its western border—to strengthen its disputed border with China amid soured relations with Beijing after the June 2020 standoff between the two countries at the Galwan area of Eastern Ladakh, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing senior Indian officials.

The report said an existing contingent of 9,000 soldiers, already deployed to the disputed Chinese border, will be brought under the newly created fighting command.

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This combined force is supposed to be deployed to guard the strategically important 532 km (330.57 miles) stretch of the Indo-China border in the northern states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh

Bloomberg said the Indian Army and Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the development.

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The unprecedented deployment of troops — backed by their own dedicated artillery and air support —highlights both the region’s strategic importance and its growing sensitivity in the eyes of India’s leaders. 

The area has seen huge infrastructure investment and development in the last decade. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has also encouraged tourism in this area. 

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In 2021, India repositioned an additional 50,000 soldiers to patrol its border along with China, after a deadly border clash in 2020 that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

Both countries have since upgraded military-related infrastructure along with the border areas and moved missiles and aircraft to either side of their border, in addition to positioning more troops. 

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“The possibility that we may face a similar situation that we faced in 2020 is keeping us active all the time,” Bloomberg quoted India’s Defense Secretary Giridhar Aramane, at a business event last month, referring to the border clash between the nuclear-armed neighbours. 

As many as 21 rounds of talks military-diplomatic have made incremental progress. New Delhi has since passed laws to discourage Chinese investments and enterprise in India.

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