Gen Naravane with injured soldier. (PTI)
NEW DELHI :
ARMY Chief Gen M M Naravane on Tuesday reviewed India’s military preparedness in eastern Ladakh as he began a two-day visit to the region where a border clash last week left 20 Indian soldiers dead in the midst of a tense standoff with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Soon after arriving in Leh, Gen Naravane visited an Army hospital where 18 soldiers injured in the clash in Galwan Valley on June 15 are undergoing treatment, Army officials said. The Chief of the Army Staff interacted with almost all the injured soldiers and complimented them for their bravery, they added.
A surveillance post set up by the Chinese Army on a narrow mountain trail in violation of an agreement was the trigger for the clash in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. After visiting the hospital, Gen Naravane reviewed the overall security situation in the region with the ground commanders, and is learnt to have directed them to keep a high-level of alertness to deal with any Chinese misadventure, people familiar with the issue said.
The Chief of the Army Staff is scheduled to visit a number of forward areas during his two-day visit to the region. Last week, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria made a quiet visit to Ladakh and Srinagar air bases to review the Indian Air Force’s preparedness to deal with any eventualities in the region. Before leaving for Leh, Gen Naravane attended the final session of a two-day conference of top Army commanders. The commanders extensively deliberated on the situation in eastern Ladakh.
In Leh, Gen Naravane was also scheduled to hold an extensive meeting with Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the commander of the 14 Corps that takes care of the sensitive border with China. Lt Gen Singh held a nearly 11-hour meeting with Commander of Tibet Military District Maj Gen Liu Lin. In the meeting, the two sides arrived at a “mutual consensus” to “disengage” from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh.