New Delhi: Following the Galwan Valley face-off which claimed lives of twenty soldiers on our side, the Indian armed forces have now been given the freedom to give a ‘befitting reply’ to the countering China.

As per the agreements inked in 1996 and 2005, both the Asian neighbours India and China had mutually decided not to resort to using firearms during face-offs. However, following the brutal attacks by Chinese counterparts in Galway Valley, the Indian armed forces have now been given full freedom to deal with any act of aggression by China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between the two countries.

The development came during the review meeting chaired by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the developments at India-China border in eastern Ladakh with the top military brass.

The review session held on Sunday was reportedly attended by Defence Staff Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

As quoted by a PTI report, sources told that Singh in the Sunday meeting directed the top military officers to maintain a strict vigil on Chinese activities around the land border, the airspace and in strategic sea lanes. Moreover, the Indian troops will no longer be bound by the long-held practice of not using firearms in faceoffs.

Amid the rising border tensions with neighbouring China after since the Galwan Vally clash, the Indian air force has already moved forward its fighter aircraft to airfields. Earlier this week, the Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria visited Leh on an unscheduled tour to review the operation of the aerial defence in the region.

IAF Chief paid a two-day visit to Leh and Srinagar region airbases. It is believed that these places could host the most critical part of an operation to be carried out by the Indian Air Force in the eastern Ladakh.

The broader standoff in eastern Ladakh between the two armies was first reported on May 5 after a fist-fight between troops along the Pangong Tso river.

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