Indian army on high alert as face-off with China continues
With India’s 1.3 million army on high alert as the border face-off with China on the Sikkim- Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction continues, the Modi government has given financial powers to the army to make ammunition purchases so that it is combat ready.
As per reports in a daily, majors contracts worth Rs 12,000 crore for almost a dozen types of ammunition, including those needed for T-90S and T-72 tanks, and Konkurs antitank guided missiles and Smerch rockets have been signed. As tensions rise along the 4,057-km-long Line of Actual Control with China, the army has moved more troops to the Doklam area where the border- face-off between Indian and Chinese troops continues.
Hundreds of troops from both sides are locked in an eyeball-for-eyeball confrontation after Indian troops stopped construction a road by the Chinese troops in the disputed site on the Doklam plateau. Entrenched in their tents, the Indian and Chinese troops are separated by only 100 metres.
The disputed area lies within Bhutan, but it is coveted by the Chinese who want to build the road in the area to increase its strategic depth in the Chumbi Valley which lies at the tri-junction of Sikkin, Tibet and Bhutan.
Bhutan has no diplomatic relations with China and depends on India for its security vis-a-vis China. India has very close relations with Bhutan which in fact was the first country Prime Minister Modi visited after he took office in May 2014.