Chinese troops entre 25-km deep into Indian territory: Sources
LEH: Chinese troops are reported to have entered 25 to
30 km deep into Indian territory in Burtse area in Ladakh where they had
pitched their tents last year that had led to a tense three-week standoff.
Official sources said on Monday a patrol of Indian
troops noticed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel on Sunday while
moving from their base towards the higher ‘New Patrol base’ post in Burtse area
of North Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. The area is at an altitude of 17,000
The sources said the troops after walking barely 1.5
km from their base spotted the Chinese personnel in Indian territory, 25 to 30
km from the perceived Line of Actual Control (LAC). Adhering to newly drafted
Standard Operating Procedures, the Indian troops returned back to their base.
The troops went on a patrol again to the ‘New Patrol
base’ post in the wee hours of Monday. However, the team found no change in the
situation as it noticed the PLA personnel still sitting on the ground with
flags reading “this is Chinese territory, go back” in their hands.
A Quick Reaction Team had also accompanied the Indian
patrol but nothing could be achieved as Chinese refused to budge from their
position, the sources said, adding finally Indian troops returned to their base
and informed their higher ups.
Udhampur-based Army Spokesperson Col SD Goswami denied
that any such incident had taken place but said there was no commonly
delineated LAC between India and China which led to transgressions.
“There are areas along the border where India and
China have differing perception of LAC. Due to both sides undertaking
patrolling up to their respective perception of the LAC, transgressions do
occur. However, no incursion or encroachment of Indian Territory by China has
taken place along the India-China border,” the spokesperson said in response to
an email query.
He said India regularly takes up any transgression
with the Chinese side through established mechanisms such as flag meetings,
border personnel meetings and normal diplomatic channels like Working Mechanism
on Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs. At these
meetings, the issues are resolved through the provisions of various agreements
between India and China, he added.
According to sources, the Indian border patrol
attempted to reach the ‘New Patrol Base’ from a place known as ‘Nallah one’,
near its base. A satellite image of the area was likely to be taken to
ascertain whether the Chinese PLA have pitched in tents like it did last year,
the sources said.
The sources, however, hinted that there was a
possibility of some tents being erected by the Chinese troops to facilitate
their movement deep into the Indian territory. The Burtse area, which is
adjacent to Daulat Beg Oldie(DBO), forms part of huge Depsang plains perceived
by India as their own territory.
However, the Chinese side have been claiming it to be
part of their territory as it gives them a tactical edge over the area
including the air field which was operationalised by the Indian Air Force(IAF)
last year for a brief while.
This area was in news last year due to 21-day standoff
between India and Chinese troops which ended after four flag meetings between
the two sides. Chinese PLA had pitched five tents in the area and claimed that
it was a part of their territory.