ALTHOUGH GOVERNMENT officials expect a possible breakthrough in the 12th round of Corps Commander-level talks to be held soon on Gogra and Hot Springs, the two friction points where China continues to have platoon-sized troop strength on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), another sticking issue – related to Depsang Plains – is likely to take more time to resolve.
Depsang, which witnessed a three-week standoff in 2013, is not identified by the government as one of the five friction points with China, although it had raised the issue in previous talks. This despite China regularly creating problems for the Indian Army to access its patrolling limits in the region, sources said.
Contrary to claims of officials that India has not been able to access its traditional patrolling limits in Depsang for years, which include Patrolling Points 10, 11, 11A, 12 and 13, the sources told The Indian Express that the Indian troops reached their patrolling limits as late as January-February 2020, just months before the latest standoff began in May.
Since the standoff, Chinese troops have been coming in vehicles to block the Indian troops to move east of Bottleneck, which is 18 km inside from the LAC, the sources said. They, however, added that China does not have any permanent infrastructure in Depsang.
Depsang is the only region in eastern Ladakh where the Limit of Patrolling (LoP) is not the same as the LAC, and is much deeper inside the Indian…