New Delhi: Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, the top Indian Army commander based in Leh who has led the Indian response in the LAC dispute with China in eastern Ladakh, will move out and take charge of the force's military academy.
The current 14 Corps Commander based in Leh, Lieutenant General Singh, who was engaged in the military negotiations with China over the border dispute, will take charge of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun as Commandant from October 1.
He is being replaced by Lieutenant General P.G.K. Menon, who is currently posted as Additional Director General of the Complaints Advisory Board (CAB) at Army Headquarters. He is in charge of the service redressal system and reports directly to Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane.
Lt Gen Menon was also part of the recent Corps Commander-level meet between the Indian and Chinese armies. But Lt Gen Singh had been solely engaged in negotiations with the Chinese in five consecutive Corps Commander-level meetings. He also had been from day one looking after each and every movement of the force at the Line of Actual Control.
It was only during the sixth round of talks on September 21 that Lt Gen Menon joined the negotiation team to discuss a resolution in the five-month-long standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
Lt Gen Menon has in the past commanded a division responsible for the China border and had a stint in the 14 Corps as Brigadier earlier.
In the last meeting on September 21, China insisted that India vacate strategic heights on the south bank of Pangong lake first ahead of disengagement talks.
During Corps Commander-level talks, China told India that they will not discuss disengagement in eastern Ladakh, where the build-up by both sides has triggered a war-like situation over the last four months, till the time India vacates strategic positions.
Chinese People's Liberation Army troops are adamant to resolve the situation first on the southern bank where the Indian troops are in a position of strength tactically but India wants a roadmap for de-escalation all across Ladakh. India has strongly asserted that the Line of Actual Control (LAC) should be drawn out.
India stated during talks that all friction areas including Depsang should be discussed for disengagement all along the LAC.
"Why should discussions be restricted to one or two places when there is a massive build-up all across?" a top Indian Army officer said.
India has occupied critical mountain heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake include Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari that were unmanned till now.
These along with some other peaks allows India to dominate Spangur Gap under Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.
This has irked the PLA which has made multiple attempts to dislodge Indian troops leading to instances of warning gunshots being fired.
India changed the rules of engagement after the Galwan clash of June 15 where 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed.
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