THE CHANDIGARH Air Force station, which serves as the air bridge to Ladakh, was bustling with activity on Thursday with several sorties of different types of aircraft being carried out over the last 48 hours.
A lot of men and material have been ferried from Chandigarh air base to forward locations in Ladakh, said sources. The aircraft which have been in action include the C-17, AN-32 and C-130.
Sources in IAF said a high state of readiness has been maintained ever since the stand-off with the Chinese troops in Ladakh.
In another related development, large scale reinforcement of Indian troops has taken place in forward locations along the Indo-Tibetan border in Himachal Pradesh. The build-up has taken place in the Kaurik and Shipki La areas, where China has in the past staked claim to areas as its own.
The Army, which maintains sizeable force levels in the Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti areas, has increased its strength, given the developments in Ladakh. While there are no public reports of any ingress by Chinese troops in these areas, Chinese helicopters have flown 10-12 km deep into Indian territory on two occasions in April.
The area along the Indo-Tibet border in Himachal is also contiguous to the border shared by the country in Uttarakhand. The Indian Army had beefed up its presence in that area too. As reported earlier by The Indian Express, the Indian Army moved fast to rush additional troops and ammunition to the Uttarakhand borders with Tibet after Chinese activities were noticed to be at a heightened level in the Harsil sector.
There has also been large-scale movement of convoys to Ladakh through highways of Punjab, which have caused people to share photographs of these convoys on social media platforms. Army officials say some of the movement is very routine because this is the time of the year when winter stocking takes places of supplies in Ladakh. They, however, requested the general public not to put out photographs of convoys on social media platforms.
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