05:28 GMT +323 October 2019
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    In this Dec. 22, 2013 photo, an Indian army soldier stands guard along barbed wire near the Line of Control (LOC), that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, at Krishna Ghati (KG Sector) in Poonch, 290 kilometers (180 miles) from Jammu, India

    India Operationalises Strategic Command Near Border With China

    © AP Photo / Channi Anand
    Asia & Pacific
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    India has been slowly increasing its military presence near the border with China amid reports of Beijing bolstering its forces in the region following the Doklam Standoff in 2017.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) — India's border guard force — has operationalised a strategic command in Jammu and Kashmir's Leh-Ladakh district after moving it from Chandigarh on Monday. 

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    The move is considered to be part of New Delhi's plan to counter the ever-increasing Chinese military build-up in the region.

    "We are operational from the Ladakh region beginning 1 April and the force headquarters in Delhi has been informed," ITBP IG Arvind Kumar told the PTI news agency.

    Director General (DG) S S Deswal, head of the fource, is expected to visit the military installation soon.

    The agency reported that the new command will include about a dozen battalions deployed along the Chinese border that runs along Jammu and Kashmir, and in the future more troops will be deployed to enhance the presence of the force on this icy, blizzard-prone mountainous border.

    ​Earlier, the ITBP completed construction of the Permanent Integrated Composite Building (PICB) in the Leh region, with a central heating system and freeze-proof toilets for border outposts located at high-altitude areas, where the temperature plummets as low as —45 degrees Celsius in the winter.

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    The ITBP is tasked with guarding the 2,168-mile long Sino-India border, working to prevent trans-border crimes, smuggling and unauthorised entry into the territory of India. Presently, it has 56 service battalions, four specialist battalions, 17 training centres and seven logistics establishments with a total strength of almost 90,000 personnel.


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