11 Feb 2021: First phase of India-China disengagement to conclude by February-end: Report
The first phase of disengagement along the India-China border around Ladakh's Pangong Tso Lake will reportedly be complete by the end of February.
The Chinese Defense Ministry had on Wednesday announced that both sides had started the disengagement process from the north and south banks of the lake.
The situation along the border had remained tense since last May.
Here are more details.
Details: 'First phase to be complete in 15-20 days'
Top government sources told News18 that the first phase of disengagement around Pangong Tso is currently underway and it will be complete in the next 15-20 days.
A senior officer said, "There is an agreement. A mutual verification will happen at every step. The Kailash range will see disengagement once we are satisfied with the way things progress in other parts of Pangong Tso."
Talks: Disengagement in accordance with consensus reached during Indo-China talks
The first phase of disengagement is in accordance with the consensus reached by both sides at the ninth round of China-India corps commander-level talks, the Chinese Defense Ministry had said on Wednesday.
The ninth round of talks was held on January 24.
The tenth round of talks will be held 48 hours after disengagement in Pangong Tso is complete.
Talks: 10th round of talks to discuss other friction points
Sources told News18 that friction points like Depsang, Gogra Hotsprings, and Demchok will be discussed in the tenth round of talks.
"This is a positive step. The Chinese have agreed to go back to Finger 8 in the North Bank. From here on, we expect the process to play out as planned," a top source told the publication.
Parliament: Defence Minister addressed disengagement earlier today
Earlier on Thursday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also addressed the Indo-China row in the Parliament.
Singh apprised the House that any structures constructed by Indian and Chinese sides since April 2020 will be removed and landforms will be restored.
China will restrict its troops to the east of Finger 8 in Pangong's northern bank. India will keep its soldiers near Finger 3.
Conflict: India, China border row erupted in early-May
Tensions along the LAC intensified after clashes between the two forces at various locations in early-May last year.
The series of escalations included a fatal clash that erupted in the Galwan Valley on June 15, which led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian Army soldiers and a disputed number of Chinese fatalities.
Both sides have blamed each other for escalating the conflict.
Fact: India, China forces also faced off in Sikkim last month
Last month, the Indian Army had confirmed that India and China had clashed along the LAC in Sikkim. The Army had said that it was a "minor face-off" with "insignificant and minor injuries," adding that tensions were "resolved by local commanders as per established protocols."