'Tipu Sultan', 'Maharana Pratap', 'Aurangzeb' among others to defend border with China
After building new roads and bunkers, the Indian Army has now positioned over a 100 battle tanks at over 14,000 feet in Eastern Ladakh.
New Delhi: The Indian Army has decided to beef up its security along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, in a bid to counter rising incidents of incursions by the latter's troops in the recent past.
As per reports, after building new roads and bunkers, the Army has now positioned over a 100 battle tanks at over 14,000 feet in Eastern Ladakh.
Interestingly, Tipu Sultan, Maharana Pratap and Aurangzeb are the names of three tanks of a regiment the Indian Army has positioned about six to eight months ago in eastern Ladakh.
After having to abandon the Forward Policy and facing the humiliation after the Indo-China war of 1962, India had neglected infrastructure along the disputed border, while China transformed the mountainous terrain into a showcase of its economic and military strength.
However, since 2012, the Indian Army began deploying units on longer tenure along the LAC. Nearly 100 tanks have been positioned near the border and more are expected soon.
"The vast flat valleys along the mountain ranges allow for armoured movement; besides, there has been an increase in the force levels across the border as well," a senior Army officer was quoted as saying.
We have to defend our borders. So whatever it takes us in terms of infrastructure development, in terms of force accretion, we have to do in the best manner, Lt Gen SK Patyal, General Officer Commanding the Leh-based 14 Corps, was quoted as saying in a report by The Hindu.
Roads are specifically being strengthened to allow the movement of heavy vehicles to bring in troops, since China has already conducted several exercises to transport troops in case of a crisis.
To match up, India has in turn built a number of landing grounds along the frontier, a senior officer said.
However, maintaining tanks in these heights isn't easy since the air is rarified and temperatures go down to -45 degree Celsius, which affect the performance of the tanks.
The Indian military uses special lubricants and fuel to keep the tanks running.
With repeated incursions at different points of the border, China has signalled its aggression. By positioning its tanks, India, too, has indicated its determination to assert its authority and rights over parts that China tries to claim as its own.