Things have significantly changed at the line of actual control in Laddakh since the Indian Army preemptive actions of August 29, 2020. And now China is eager for the restoration of status co at the line of actual control.
Now we will tell you how a top-secret plan to create a quick co pro situation was actually achieved.
The government cleared the secret plan to take the strategic heights along the line of actual control to prevent the Chinese from occupying them later August which could give the country an advantage on the negotiation table.
The army on the ground drew out a very meticulous and detailed plan to capture the heights which would give the Army tactical advantage on the ground and strategic advantage in negotiations.
This operation was code-named as the Operation Snow Leopard.
Planning of Operation Snow Leopard
This was detailed planning which took almost two months. When you say planning then it is the selection of troops, selection of weapon, there are rehearsals, identifying the areas, then meticulous execution. It is a combination of each and every detail because in any operation there are no runner ups. It’s only a Winner or Loser.
The army initially waited for China to go back across the LAC (line of actual control) at the restoration of the LAC and status co ante but when China did not do that India realized that India will have to take an effective countermeasure.
From the Chief of the Army Staff General M.M. Naravane at the Army headquarter to Yogesh Kumar Joshi the army commander, Core commanders, several Brigade commanders and the Company commander on the ground have to be on the same page for meticulous planning and flawless execution of the Operation Snow Leopard.
This Operation was conducted in the leadership of NSA Ajit Doval and Army Chief M.M Naravane.
The army identifies the peak on the other side of the Pangong Tso and also at Galwan Vally along with a go graph and other friction points. Specialist high-altitude warfare soldiers were drawn and as China engaged India in dialogue the Indian teams plan to occupy these strategic heights. Each pick was war-gamed and time was set for multiple simultaneous operations.
On the night of August 29th and 30th, the teams were launched near-simultaneous position as inputs indicated that the Chinese were planning another transportation South of Pangong Tso.
The Operation Snow Leopard was on the way.
“The preemptive operation is done on the 29th August both on the South Bank and the North Bank of Pangong Tso and other areas. To dominate the area of LAC this was done with precision. In fact, we would say the very planning, the move, the speed of operation and the boldness with which it was done was a classic example and it is the competition with another side because the Indian Army does not trust the Chinese and therefore it needed to be done with precision and boldness.”
It was the race against time and before the Chinese could react, as the part of Operation Snow Leopard the army had taken the control of strategic height overlooking the Chinese defences not just on either side of the Pangong Tso but also so at other friction point and also increased deployment in the depths and clans of Northern Laddakh. This operation has given the Indian Army dominating point near to Chushul regions.
The commandos of Special Frontier Force – SFF were chosen to conduct this operation and the commandos of ITBP were also used to support them.
“While capturing some of the heights in Pangong Tso Subedar Nyima Tenzin sacrificed his life when he accidentally put his leg on a landmine. Another Soldier of SFF Tenzin Loden was also critically injured. A proper funeral with military honour was given to dead Soldier Nyima Tenzin on 7th September 2020.”
Everyone knew about this Operation after its success but its name was officially revealed by Army only after two months that has a name Operation Snow Leopard.
Does this mean China will now escalate the situation at LAC between October and November like it did in 1962 or has the Indian Army learnt through China’s game?
They have deployed soldiers not only on the dominating height but also near the part of the Snow Leopard which ensured that our boys are effectively looked after in terms of the supply chain and the logistic chain. One thing is very clear, the army is now deployed at the LAC (line of actual control) for a long halt and Operation Snow Leopard has many more aces at its sleeve.
Importance and Achievement
The Operational Snow Leopard is the name of the operation which has stealth and expertise both involved in it. And we must know how our forces were quickly able to deploy and occupy those tactical heights which have strategic ramification and this is the reason that China has still not come back to the talks table.
It seems that there has been a disconnection between Chinese military leadership and the Chinese political leadership. The military leadership wants to escalate and political leadership wants to cut their losses and save their face. They want India to provide a face-saver.
But still, the army is not taking any chances and is deployed because earlier in 1962 the Indo-Chinese conflict occurred between October and November and that is why the Aksai Chin was lost by India.
After The Operation
There has been also firing exchanges between Indian and Chinese troops mostly in the air, warning shots fired on four occasions.
First firing exchange took place on August 29th near the Black top,
Then on Rechin la on August 31st where the second firing happened,
Then September 7th near Mukhpari Peak which is south of Pangong Tso where the third firing incident took place and that was the time when Chinese issued the statement to Indian Army.
Fourth firing incident took place on September 8 between the area of finger 3 and finger 4.