Amidst a standoff with China in the Doka la sector, fresh visuals have emerged showing evidence of a major skirmish between Indian and Chinese forces at Ladakh.
Indian and Chinese soldiers were involved in an altercation in the western Himalayas on Tuesday, 15 August i.e. on India's Independence Day. Indian border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory in Ladakh, resulting in the altercation.
The visuals show that a stone pelting incident took place at Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh, where Chinese soldiers are seen throwing stones and bashing at Indo-Tibetan border personnel (ITBP) with iron rods. The soldiers on the north appear to be from the People's Liberation Army and the ones on the bottom in khakhi attire are Indian soldiers.
According to PTI, China said that it was "not aware" of reports of PLA soldiers entering Indian territory and said it is "committed to peace and tranquillity along the border." Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hu Chunying said, "I am not aware of the information." She said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops always patrol along the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC)."We urge the Indian side abide by the LAC and relevant conventions between the two sides," she added.
Despite the denial from China, PTI reports that army officers of India and China met in Chushul sector of Leh on Wednesday. Media sources said that the Chinese side had taken an aggressive stand at the meeting and even sought to blame the Indian troops for Tuesday's skirmishes. Two-thirds of the Pangong Lake is controlled by China while one-third of it is controlled by India, which further complicates the situation.
The skirmish in Ladakh comes at a time when India and China are locked in a face-off in the Doka la area of the Sikkim sector. The standoff has been ongoing for more than 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from constructing a road in the area. India has protested the construction of a road by the Chinese military in the area claimed by its ally Bhutan, fearing it would allow Beijing to cut off India’s access to its northeastern states.
The Indian Army has neither accepted nor denied the video. Personnel from both sides received minor injuries and the situation was brought under control after the customary banner drill under which both sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective positions.
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Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will reportedly pay a three-day visit to Ladakh beginning Sunday during which he will take stock of the security preparedness along the border with China besides discussing key operational matters with top commanders, official sources said on Sunday.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 22, 2017 12:40 PM