Leh | Jagran News Desk: Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Saturday said that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has increased the deployment of troops in "considerable numbers" across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and called it a "matter of concern".

In an interview with news agency ANI, General Naravane said that the Indian Army is monitoring the situation closely. However, he said that the situation is "quite normal", adding that the two sides are expected to hold the 13th round of talks in the second week of October and reach a consensus on how disengagement will take place.

"Chinese have deployed in considerable numbers all across Eastern Ladakh and Northern front right up to our Eastern command. Definitely, there has been an increase in their deployment in the forward areas which remains a matter of concern for us," he told ANI.

"We're regularly monitoring all their movements. Based on inputs we get, we're also carrying out matching developments both in infrastructure as well in terms of troops that are needed to counter any threat. At the moment, we're quite well poised to meet any eventuality," he added.

India and China have been engaged in a standoff since May last year. The tensions had particularly increased after the Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives. Since then, the two sides have held 12 rounds of talks to resolve differences and maintain peace and tranquillity at the LAC. While the Chinese side has withdrawn troops from the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and Gogra area, it still continues to maintain its presence at Hot Springs.

Amid this, General Naravane on Friday arrived in Ladakh and visited several forward areas to review the Army's operational preparedness. On the first day of his visit, he reviewed the situation in the Rezang-La area after which he was given a detailed briefing about the overall situation in the region at the headquarters of the 14 Corps.

"General Naravane visited several forward areas in eastern Ladakh where he was briefed on the prevailing security situation and operational preparedness. He also interacted with the troops and complimented them for their resoluteness and high morale," news agency PTI quoted an Army spokesperson as saying.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma