Ladakh Standoff: Srinagar-Leh road closed for traffic

Galway Valley - Ladakh
Galway Valley - Ladakh

SRINAGAR — Government has closed Srinagar-Leh Highway for civilian traffic after fresh military movements by the Chinese troops on the intervening night of August 29-30 in Ladakh.

Sources said that civilian vehicles on way to Ladakh have been stopped at Manigam and Sumbal-Sonawari area. An official said that no vehicle is being allowed to go ahead of Sonmarg.

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The Srinagar-Leh Highway, however, will remain open for the movement of Army convoys, the official added.

Eyewitnesses said that only armoured vehicles can be seen plying on Srinagar-Leh highway. The road, according to the official, will remain open only for the Defence forces and armoured vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army issued a statement on Monday stating that the Chinese troops attempted to unilaterally change the status quo on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake area in eastern Ladakh.

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In a statement, the Defence ministry said, “On the night of 29/30 August 2020, PLA troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo.”

The Indian troops detected activity by a sizeable number of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during the night, the Army said.

A Brigade Commander level Flag Meeting is in progress at Chushul to resolve the issues.

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Pertinently, the two armies have been locked in a stand-off at multiple points in the Eastern Ladakh sector for nearly four months.

In Monday’s statement, the Indian Army called the movement of troops a violation of “previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh”.

“Indian troops preempted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground. The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity,” Army said in the statement.

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