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Friday, July 10, 2020

India-China Standoff | Army changes Rules of Engagement along LAC, allows use of firearms

According to the new rules field commanders deployed at the LAC can give soldiers complete freedom of action to handle situations at the tactical level allowing use of firearms under extraordinary situations
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New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Days after the violent clash with Chinese forces at the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh that claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers, the Indian Army on Sunday changed the Rules of Engagement (RoE) along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and allowed the use of firearms under ‘extra ordinary’ situation.

According to the new rules, field commanders deployed at the LAC can give soldiers “complete freedom of action” to handle situations at the tactical level, allowing use of firearms under “extraordinary situations”.

The field commanders of the Indian Army along the LAC were not allowed to use firearms under the previous Rules of Engagement (RoE) between India and China that was signed in 1996 and 2005. The two sides had also agreed not to use any blasting or firearms within two kilometres of the LAC.

However, the Indian Army has decided to change the rule after the violent clash at the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh that claimed the lives of 20 of its troops, including a Colonel rank officer.

Amid the escalating tensions at the LAC, the central government has also asked the armed forces to be “fully ready to give befitting reply to any Chinese misadventure” in eastern Ladakh and other sectors and has decided to adopt a “different tactical approach in guarding border with China henceforth”.

Also Read | Be ready to give ‘befitting reply to any Chinese misadventure’ along LAC: Rajnath Singh meets CDS Gen Rawat, three service chiefs

The government has also granted the three services emergency financial powers of up to Rs 500 crore per procurement project to buy ammunition and weapons. It has also relaxed certain rules to cut delays in military purchase like allowing the three services to procure required weapons and equipment from a single vendor.

The clash between Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan Valley was the bloodiest incident between the two sides in over 50 years. According to intelligence sources, China had suffered 43 casualties during the standoff at Galwan Valley, reported news agency ANI.

Prior to the clashes, India and China had been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it was necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.

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