India, China disengage at another friction point, troops return to permanent bases

Six months after they stepped back on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso, Chinese and Indian troops have disengaged at Patrolling Point 17A near Gogra Post in eastern Ladakh after a 15-month standoff.

Troops have returned to their respective permanent bases — this means that PLA troops have returned to their side of the Line of Actual Control. Other friction points remain and the standoff, which began in May 2020, is not entirely resolved.

The agreement to disengage from PP17A was reached during the 12th round of Corps Commander talks held on July 31. China, however, is yet to pull back its troops from PP15 at Hot Springs. The PLA is also blocking Indian soldiers from accessing patrolling limits in the Depsang Plains, and some “so-called civilians” have pitched tents on the Indian side of the LAC in Demchok.

In a statement Friday, the Indian Army said: “As per the agreement, both sides have ceased forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. The disengagement process was carried out over two days” on August 4 and August 5.

“The troops of both sides are now in their respective permanent bases,” the Army said.

It said “all temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides have been dismantled and mutually verified,” and the “landform in the area has been restored by both sides to pre-standoff period”.

“This agreement ensures that the LAC in this area will be…

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