The violent clashes between the Indian and Chinese troopers on the 15th June, 2020 were followed by a complete silence from the Indian PM over the next 24 hours or so. However, the government soon scheduled an all-party meeting on the 19th June, 2020 to discuss the future course of action.
Anticipating a hard stance from the Prime Minister Modi in the Friday’s meet, many defence experts and former army generals were rather left mystified by the statement given by him during the all-important meeting. His remarks were seized upon by the Chinese state media and the opposition, exposing the chinks in the armoury.
While the supporter of the ruling party claimed that the opposition interpreted the statement mischievously, one cannot deny the fact that the PM’s remarks actually played into the hands of the PLA, vindicating their claim over the entire region of Galwan Valley and the four fingers nears Pangong Tso Lake.
Although, it is difficult to pinpoint the actual spot of the clash that happened on the 15th, June in the Galwan Valley, there is a strong possibility that the Chinese troopers had actually intruded into the Indian Territory, given the aggressive build-up of the PLA near the LAC. However, there is no doubt about the intrusion of Chinese troopers in the Pangong Tso region, as they have restricted the movement of Indian troopers to the finger 4.
Earlier, Indian army used to walk up to the finger 8, patrolling the entire region from the finger 1 without facing any hostility from the Chinese troopers. Now, the situation is quite troublesome, as the PLA’s heavy build-up can easily be seen through the satellite imagery near finger 4.
The remarks of Indian PM may have drawn flak from various ends, but the trouble and dilemma doesn’t end here. Having accepted that the Chinese troopers are sitting comfortably on their side of the LAC, Indian army leadership has been left with no choice, but to accept the Chinese claim over the four fingers near the Pangong Tso Lake. It also supports the Chinese narrative of the Indian intrusion on their side of the border, as Indian army was actually patrolling up to finger 8 before May, 2020.
At this juncture, the PM’s statement also rules out any possibility of a military action from the Indian side to get back the territory occupied by the PLA near Pangong Tso. The only possibility of the military action has been restricted to the provocation from the Chinese side, which may or may not take place in the coming days.