India has enhanced its troop level along the entire stretch of its border with China in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, PTI reported.
Quoting officials, PTI reported that the “caution level” among the troops in the eastern sector has been raised. But there will be no enhancement of troops at Doklam, where around 350 Indian troops are holding to their position, the officials added.
Earlier, The Quint was the first to report the movement of the 33 Corps which is stationed at Sukna near Siliguri in West Bengal, has been in response to the Chinese People's Liberation Army's efforts to reinforce their side of the border in Tibet.
Eastern Command army sources told The Quint on 8 August that all three divisions under the 33 Corps have been deployed on the Sino-Indian border.
A source in the army had told The Quint:
The mobilisation is generally posturing but it does have a larger military and international objective.
The Chinese have put up 80 tents near Doklam and have increased the number of Chinese troops in the area, and there has been increased Chinese presence in the vicinity of the standoff site at the trijunction with Bhutan, Indian Express reported.
The Chinese officials told the Indian Express: "There is no movement from the other side that has been picked up by us”.
Meanwhile, on the Indian side, a bulk of the troops of the Sukna-based 33 Corps have been or are in the process of being moved to the Indo-China frontier.
The Indian Express reported that the deployment of the troops is part of an Operational Alert which is usually held in late September or early October.
An early deployment would mean that the troops will undergo Stage-2 acclimatisation, which will be required if the troops are sent up to 14,700 feet. By advancing the Op Alert, India can save a few days required for acclimatisation. The standoff site is at 11,000 feet but certain places are as high as 14,000 feet.
The report in Global Times came the same day Defence Minister Arun Jaitley asserted that the armed forces are strong enough to meet any challenge to the country's security and underlined that lessons have been learnt from the 1962 war with China.
The standoff between Indian and Chinese troops has entered its seventh week and there seems to be no end in sight. The Chinese Foreign Ministry reportedly told its state-run Global Times that at least ‘53 people and a bulldozer from the Indian side remain in Chinese territory as of Monday’.
In a statement to Global Times, the ministry said:
India should withdraw its troops and equipment. Regardless of how many Indian troops have trespassed into and stayed in Chinese territory, they have gravely infringed on China’s sovereignty.
Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji also held a discussion with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Friday in Kathmandu and said: “We hope the situation in Doklam will be resolved peacefully and amicably.”
(With PTI and IANS inputs.)
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