India, China armies complete disengagement at Gogra point

Yet another forward movement towards improving the situation in the Gogra friction point in eastern Ladakh area, Indian and Chinese armies have completed the disengagement process and restored the pre-standoff ground position after nearly 15 months of face-off. Announcing the development, the Indian Army said the disengagement process was carried out on August 4 and 5, and all temporary structures, as well as other allied infrastructure created by both sides, have been dismantled, and mutually verified subsequently.

The disengagement process at Patrolling Point-17A or Gogra was carried out in line with the outcome of the 12th round of military talks that took place on July 31 at Chushul-Moldo meeting point in eastern Ladakh. The mutually synchronized and physically verified troop pull-back took place at patrolling point-17A (PP-17A), which is near India’s crucial Gogra post. However, the process was not completed following fresh skirmishes along the South bank of Pangong Tso areas. This, in effect, has led to an around 5-km no-patrolling buffer zone between the two armies in PP-17A area. Both sides, however, continue to deploy over 50,000 soldiers each, backed by tanks, artillery and surface-to-air missile missiles, all along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The disengagement process at PP 17A took place around five months after the two sides carried out a similar exercise on the North and South bank areas of Pangong lake when they withdrew troops and weapons from the friction points.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.