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Army chief at China frontier

General Dalbir Singh

New Delhi, Aug. 11: Army chief General Dalbir Singh today visited parts of the frontier with China in eastern Ladakh — the first army chief to do so — ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stopover in Leh tomorrow.

The general was in Loma, Chumar and Demchok in eastern Ladakh from where the army has reported “incursions” or sightings of Chinese patrols in territory claimed by India.

Modi is expected to be given a briefing by the army top brass, comprising the chief, the northern army commander and the 14 Corps commander, in Leh tomorrow before he leaves for Kargil. Sources in the army said Modi was likely to skip Siachen during the visit but may make it to the glacier later this month.

Gen. Singh visited the Siachen base camp yesterday. The briefing to the Prime Minister seeks to give him an explanation of the strategic importance of the glacier and eastern Ladakh, and the current military situation.

According to an official statement, the army chief will also visit the forward posts of eastern Ladakh and review the army’s preparedness

Gen. Singh, who was at forward posts today to personally see the fortifications and the border infrastructure on both the Indian and Chinese sides, had detailed meetings with the local commanders. He inquired after the logistical requirements of the troops in the harsh terrain.

He will receive the Prime Minister in Leh tomorrow. The Prime Minister is expected to get a 40-minute briefing before he inaugurates two hydel projects in the Ladakh capital and in Kargil. The Prime Minister is expected to fly back to New Delhi from Kargil.

Pak firing

Two jawans and two civilians were injured in Pakistani shelling on BSF posts and civilian areas in Arnia sector of Jammu last night, escalating tension on borders ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to the state.

The Pakistan government, however, summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad to lodge a protest over “unprovoked firing” by Indian troops.