A mistake by China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) could now weigh heavily on its forces as Defence Minister Rajnath has given the Army a free hand to act. It is also learnt that India will adopt different strategic methods from now on to protect the border from China. India has changed the rules of engagement along the LAC to allow field commanders to approve the use of firearms under extraordinary circumstances.
On Sunday, Rajnath Singh held a meeting to discuss the current situation in Ladakh with CDS General Bipin Rawat as well as the heads of the three armed forces (Navy, Army and Air Force). According to information, the minister has given full freedom to the Army on the LAC. It has been said that the Army should be ready to respond to every move of China. The armed forces’ chiefs have been asked to closely observe China’s every move and top military officials have been told to keep a close eye on China’s activities in land borders, airspace and strategic sea routes.
The Indian government has said that China’s claims on the Galwan Valley are not acceptable. These are in stark contrast to China’s own earlier stance. The situation in Galwan has been clear for a long time, both sides have been fully aware of the LAC and have been following it over the years. India never crossed the LAC. Indian troops have been patrolling the area for a long time and all constructions are within the limits of India. The boundaries are clear in the map of India and the government will not allow any unilateral changes in the LAC.
China is alarmed after not being able to make up its mind regarding Galwan Valley and experts say that the next dispute could be over Pangong Lake. There already has been a clash between the two armies on 5-6 May but if it happens again, it would be difficult to limit it to just punching, throwing stones and sticks.
At present, the Indian Army is also fully vigilant in Galwan Valley. Both the Army and the Air Forces are on high alert. The Modi government has given full leeway to the Army to respond to any Chinese misadventure and mischief.