CHINESE military removed temporary infrastructure and continued gradual withdrawal of troops from face-off sites in Hot Springs and Gogra in eastern Ladakh for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, and the Indian Army is keeping a strict vigil on their rearward movement, Government sources said. Gogra and Hot Springs are among the key friction points where the two Armies were in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation for the last eight weeks.

The sources said the mutual disengagement of troops at the two friction points is likely to be completed within two days, and that there has been “substantial” withdrawal of forces by Chinese military from the areas. The sources said the Indian Army is not lowering its guard in view of the disengagement process in the area and will continue to maintain high-level of alertness to deal with any eventualities. They said the two two Armies are expected to hold further talks later this week after the first phase of disengagement process is completed. As per the decisions arrived at corps Commander-level talks on June 30, the two sides would create a minimum buffer zone of three kilometre in most of the areas where they were locked in a standoff.

“There has been substantial withdrawal of Chinese troops from Hot Springs and Gogra. The Chinese military has dismantled temporary infrastructure too in the areas,” said a source. The Chinese military has already removed tents and withdrew its personnel from patrolling point 14 in Galwan Valley, the sources said adding the Indian Army is carrying out a thorough verification of the Chinese pull back. On the situation in Pangong Tso, they said a “marginal thinning out of troops” has been observed in the area. The Indian and Chinese Armies are locked in the bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last eight weeks. Both sides have held several rounds of diplomatic and military talks in the last few weeks to ease tension in the region. However, there was no visible sign of any end to the standoff till Sunday evening.