With improvement in infrastructure, India is getting ready to be more assertive along its disputed border with China.
Top Indian government sources told Hindustan Times that Indian forces may soon patrol deeper into the disputed territory with China, beyond the limits observed before the recent three-week border standoff in Ladakh.
However, they would still not be carrying out surveillance all the way up to India’s perceived border because of a self-imposed restriction that has never been made public.
Classified documents revealed that India currently restricted its surveillance to a self-imposed patrolling limit ranging from 2km to 20km inside New Delhi’s perception of the line of actual control (LAC).
The common belief, based on public statements by the government, was that Indian forces patrol right up to the LAC – the undefined border disputed by both sides.
Indian and Chinese armies restarted patrols in eastern Ladakh after the standoff, but Indian forces do not venture beyond the patrolling limit, a top army officer confirmed.
He added that the so-called patrolling limit predated the April 15 Chinese incursion and it may have been imposed in the 1960s after the India-China war.
“The patrolling limit is being reconsidered in some swathes due to improvement in infrastructure on our side,” a top government source said, adding that poor infrastructure had so far been a constraint for Indian forces to be able to patrol right up to New Delhi’s perceived LAC.
Indian forces carry out patrols up to points referred to as P10, P11, P11A, P12 and P13 that define the patrolling limit in Daulat Beg Oldie sector.