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Indian Army chief reviews ops preparedness of Eastern Command

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KOLKATA (PTI): Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Thursday reviewed operational preparedness of the force at the Eastern Command Headquarters in Kolkata, a defence official said.

Gen Rawat, on a day-long visit to the headquarter at Fort William, interacted with senior officers and reviewed their operational preparedness in view of the security situation in the eastern theatre, which witnessed a 73-day military standoff with China after its troops tried to build a road in Dokalam area claimed by Indian ally Bhutan.

India feared the road, close to the "Chicken's Neck" corridor, would allow China to potentially cut off India's access to its northeastern states.

The standoff began in June and ended on August 28 after Chinese troops agreed to stop building the road and both sides agreed on "expeditious disengagement" of personnel in Dokalam, according to the External Affairs Ministry.

Gen Rawat, who was received by Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Abhay Krishna, complimented all ranks of the command for maintaining a high-level of operational preparedness, Defence spokesman Wing Commander S S Birdi said.

In December, Gen Rawat had visited three northeastern states - Nagaland, Manipur and Assam - to get a first-hand information about the security situation in the region.

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