Bengaluru: To guard its strategically located Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh better, the Indian Army has ordered 12 new specialised fast control patrol boats for patrolling the lake at a cost of Rs 65 crore, as reported by Times of India.    

The website adds that the order includes not just the new boats, but also the supplies of their spares and maintenance for four years. The order has been awarded to defence public sector undertaking (PSU) Goa Shipyard, which will begin the supply of the patrol boats starting May 2021.

Indian Army already has 17 quick reaction team (QRT) boats patrolling the region since 2012-13. However, the Indian Army had been looking to augment its capabilities to match the PLA's heavier Type 928B patrol boats.

According to the report, the order for 12 new boats indicates that the Indian Army is preparing for a longer deployment in the region, where both the Indian and Chinese armies are in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation at multiple locations along the LAC since June 2020.

A note on Galwan Valley 

It all began when Indian soldiers dismantled a Chinese tent at Patrol Point 14, which is close to the mouth of the Galwan river, in the month of June. The tent had been dismantled following a meeting between Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, who commands the Leh-based XIV Corps, and Major-General Lin Liu, the head of the Xinjiang military district

But just within two days, it should be noted that the PLA set up a fresh tent at Patrol Point 14. This was in clear violation of the agreement.

Another intelligence report by the US had claimed that a senior Chinese commander ordered the attack against Indian soldiers.

As quoted by a popular website, “Gen. Zhao Zongqi, head of the Western Theater Command and among the few combat veterans still serving in the People’s Liberation Army, approved the operation”.

The report, as further quoted by the website, had categorically stated that the attack against India was ordered to project an image of strength by China and to not appear ‘weak’ in either in front of the USA and its allies, including India. Interestingly, the intelligence report has revealed that Zhao had overseen other attacks against Indian soldiers as well and had orchestrated the Galwan valley attack to ‘teach India a lesson’.

The US intelligence reports add that the families of the soldiers being pressured not to give a decent burial. The move by China is being seen as a sign to refuse any casualties in the first place so that the might of China is not questioned.