Indian Army chief General MM Naravane visited forward areas at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh where Indian troops have taken over some of the crucial heights in response to Chinese aggression.

Sources said the Army chief undertook an on-the-spot inspection of the state of habitat of troops at the forward line of defences at Rechin La. The Indian Army had taken over crucial unmanned heights ranging 44 km on the southern side of the Pangong Lake in September as the Chinese did not retreat from areas that had been under Indian occupation on the northern bank.

“COAS visited forward areas including Rechin La and undertook a first-hand assessment of the situation along the LAC. He also undertook an on-the-spot inspection of the state of habitat of troops on the forward line of defences at Rechin La,” said an Army official.

The Army chief also visited Tara base and interacted with troops and disturbed sweets ahead of Christmas.

India and China have been involved in an over seven-month-long standoff in Ladakh with both sides brining in heavy deployment of troops, artillery guns, tanks and armoured vehicles in close proximity.

The tensions started with skirmishes in Pangong Lake in May when troops came to blows on more than one occasion leaving many injured on both sides. On June 15 in an ugly clash at the Galwan Valley, 20 Indian soldiers were killed while the Chinese side never made their casualties public.

The deadlock in Ladakh continues as there has been no progress in finding a solution despite eight rounds of Corps Commander level talks, which is the highest level of military dialogue.

The last meeting at the Corps Commander-level took place on November 6 and despite a roadmap being made for easing tensions, the stalemate continues.