As the first Indian Army chief to have visited the strategic Rechen La and Rezang La tops in Ladakh, General Manoj Mukund Naravane gave 12 Chief’s Commendation Cards to troops deployed in the icy heights on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The two heights close to the LAC were occupied by the Indian Army troops in a special operation around August 29-30 this year, preempting the Chinese who wanted to move in there.
“The Army chief gave his commendation cards to 12 troops including officers and jawans for their operational role and devotion to duty during deployment in the area since the middle of the year,” Army sources told ANI.
Naravane visited the heights on Wednesday during harsh winters when the temperature was close to minus 25 degree Celsius and the actual feel due to winds was minus 37 degree Celsius, they said.
The Army chief has been visiting the operational area regularly since the conflict between India and China broke out in the area in April-May timeframe over transgressions by the People’s Liberation Army.
In an apparent response to the aggression and occupation of heights by the PLA along the northern bank of Pangong Tso, the Indian Army took around six strategic heights overlooking Chinese positions on both the northern and southern bank of the over 130 km-long lake.
During the visit, Gen Naravane undertook on the spot inspection of the state of the habitat of troops on the forward line of defences at Rechen La. He appreciated the efforts made by the formation to make troops comfortable along the LAC.
The Rechen La and Rezang La heights had largely remained unoccupied since the fierce battles of 1962 when the Indian troops led by Major Shaitan Singh Bhati fouled waves of Chinese attacks in the area and killed a large number of their troops.
Gen Naravane also paid homage to the valiant Indian troops who laid down their lives in the war almost 60 years ago.