Srinagar: Government has closed Srinagar-Leh Highway for civilian traffic after fresh military movements by the Chinese troops on the intervening night of August 29-30 in Ladakh.
Sources told Kashmir News Trust that civilian vehicles on way to Ladakh have been stopped at Manigam and Sumbal-Sonawari area. An official said that no vehicle is being allowed to ahead of Sonmarg.
The Srinagar-Leh Highway, however, will remain open for the movement of defence forces and army convoys, he added.
Eyewitnesses said that only army vehicles can be seen plying on Srinagar-Leh Highway.
Earlier on Monday, the Indian Army issued a statement stating that the Chinese troops attempted to unilaterally change the status quo on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake area in eastern Ladakh.
In a statement, the defence ministry said: “On the night of 29/30 August 2020, PLA troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo.”
The Indian troops detected activity by a sizeable number of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during the night, the army said.
A Brigade Commander level Flag Meeting is in progress at Chushul to resolve the issues.
Pertinently, the two armies have been locked in a stand-off at multiple points in the East Ladakh sector for nearly four months.
In Monday’s statement, the Indian army called the movement of troops a violation of “previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh.”
“Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground. The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity,” army said in the statement. KNT
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