Thursday, July 2, 2020

India adopts tough stance in Ladakh faceoff against China, deploys Ghatak commandos along LAC

Leh: The border tension between India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is not showing signs of being defused any time soon.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has appointed martial arts instructors to train its special forces. According to reports from Chinese media, at least 20 Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) instructors have been sent to Tibet to train Chinese soldiers.

The Indian Army has deployed its Ghatak commandos to counter the Chinese soldiers trained in martial arts. Every Indian Army battalion has a platoon of Ghatak commandos.

According to an army officer, a Ghatak commando has to undergo a special 43-day commando training course in Belgaum, Karnataka. The training includes a 40 km run with a weight of about 35 kg, which makes them physically strong.

In addition to weapons training, they are also given hands-on combat training. They also specialize in martial arts. Even when they are stationed in a unit, they are trained there. There is separate training for high altitude areas and desert areas.

According to an agreement between India and China in 1996, it was agreed that there would be no firing within a radius of two kilometers from the LAC, no dangerous chemical weapons, guns or any type of explosives would be allowed.

An army officer said that a unit of the lethal Ghatak commandos consists of about 22 personnel, including an officer and a JCO. But almost the entire team is also retained as a backup. Thus a unit has 40 to 45 commandos at all times.

Every infantry officer in the Indian Army undergoes training and only selected soldiers undergo this training. Every year, 30-40 new personnel arrive in every unit and then some new soldiers are put in the commando team.

The soldiers who replace these deadly commando teams also remain in the unit. Thus, in addition to the deadly commando team, the unit has about 50% soldiers who specialize in commando operations.

Meanwhile, India and China have taken the path of dialogue to find ways to reduce tensions on LAC. Sources associated with the government said that it was agreed between the two countries that the Working Procedures for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) will meet every week to discuss the Ladakh border issue.

Representatives of several ministries, including the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs and security forces from the Indian side will be included in the meeting.

Sources said that the WMCC discussed the issue of tension in eastern Ladakh last week and steps were taken to resolve the issues. During the talks, the issue of violent clash among Indian Chinese soldiers in the Galwan Valley was also discussed.

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