Full text of report on India’s loss of access to 26 patrolling points on Ladakh border

Illustration by Sukruti Anah Staneley
26 January, 2023

The Caravan has obtained a copy of a paper by a superintendent of police in Leh, Ladakh, which states that out of the 65 patrolling points from the Karakoram Pass to Chumur, “our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP no. 5-17, 24-32, 37, 51,52,62) due to restrictive or no patrolling” by the Indian Security Forces. The paper was presented at the 57th annual conference of director generals, inspector generals, heads of central armed police forces and central police organisations, held from 20 to 22 January, at New Delhi. It was attended, among others, by the prime minister Narendra Modi, the home minister Amit Shah and the national security advisor Ajit Doval.  

The paper underlines India’s loss of control over territory since the crisis with China began in 2020, including denial of pasture lands to graziers since 2014. It notes that the disengagement deal between India and China at PP15 and PP16, in September 2022, has “resulted in loss of pasture lands at Gogra hills, while the same have been lost in north bank, Kakjung areas.” The Caravan had previously reported on how China outmanoeuvred the Modi government and seized control of territory along the line of actual control, or LAC.

The conference involved deliberations on 16 topics, for which 192 papers were received from police officers serving all over India. These papers are put together as a compendium of articles of the corresponding year. The paper from Ladakh was presented as a part of the first topic, “Security Issues Pertaining to Unfenced Land Border,” by PD Nitya, the SP of Leh, and focuses on Ladakh’s border with China and the existing problem at the 775-kilometre-long LAC in the Ladakh region. According to the website News18, the compendium for this year was removed by the “secretariat of the director-general conference” soon after Nitya’s paper was reported on by several news organisations. 

The paper notes self-imposed restrictions by the Indian Army on the movement of civilians and administration officials in certain areas because of Chinese pressure. “Indian Army has placed much restrictions on the movement of civilians and grazers near the forward areas on the Indian side, indicating their ‘play safe’ strategy that they do not want to annoy the PLA by giving them the chance to raise objections on the areas being claimed as disputed.” 

As the government has not officially provided any details of the situation on the LAC at Ladakh, this paper from a local police official at a top-level conference is important evidence of the evolving situation on the ground since 2020. The paper is reproduced in full below.