Chinese troops fired shots; tried to close in on Indian positions in Ladakh: Army
   Date :09-Sep-2020
 
Chinese troops fired shot
 China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers armed with
stick-machetes approached towards Indian post near Mukhpari peak at about 6 PM on Monday. (Govt Sources/PTI)
 
 
NEW DELHI,
THE Army on Tuesday said Chinese troops fired shots in the air and attempted to close in on an Indian position in eastern Ladakh a day earlier as it rejected charges by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that it transgressed across the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The remarks by the Army came after the PLA late on Monday night alleged that the Indian troops crossed the LAC and “outrageously fired” warning shots near the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh.
 
The use of firearms along the LAC marks a serious escalation in border tensions as the previous instance of shots being fired at the de-facto border was in 1975. India and China exchanged accusations just four days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Gen Wei Fenghe held talks in Moscow on ways to ease tensions at the border. They met last Friday on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet. In a statement, the Indian Army said that at no stage the Indian troops crossed the LAC or resorted to use of any “aggressive means,” including firing, as alleged by the Chinese PLA. “At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing. It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manuveres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress,” the Army said.
 
“In the instant case on September 7, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own (Indian) troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops,” the statement added. It further said that despite the “grave provocation,” Indian troops exercised “great restraint” and behaved in a mature and responsible manner. The Army termed the statement issued by the Western Theater Command of the PLA as an attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience.
 
“The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity, however is also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs,” the Army said. “India, while is committed to disengagement and de-escalating the situation on the LAC, China continues to undertake provocative activities to escalate.” Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, a spokesperson of PLA’s Western Theater Command, in a statement on Monday night alleged that Indian troops again illegally crossed the LAC and “outrageously fired” warning shots on Chinese border patrol soldiers who were about to negotiate. Chinese troops were forced to take countermeasures to stabilise the situation, he said without elaborating. The Indian troops crossed the LAC at the west section of the China-India border into the Shenpao mountain region near the south bank of Pangong lake, he alleged.
 
Separately, the Ministry of External Affairs termed as false reports in Chinese media attributing some comments to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. “We have seen reports in Chinese State media, including in China Daily and Huanqiu Shibao (Global Times), which had attributed some comments to NSA Shri Ajit Doval.
 
 
These reports are completely false and are not based on facts. We urge the media to refrain from such speculative reporting,” it said in a release. Tensions escalated manifold along the LAC in eastern Ladakh after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American Intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35. The border situation deteriorated again after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30.
 
India occupied a number of strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake and strengthened its presence in Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in the region to thwart any Chinese actions. China has strongly objected to India’s move. However, India has maintained that the heights are on its side of the LAC. India has also rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region following China’s transgression attempts. Following China’s fresh attempts to change the status quo in the southern bank of Pangong lake, India has further bolstered its military presence in the region. 
 
‘Chinese troops carried rods, spears and clubs’
 
NEW DELHI,
 
CHINESE troops carried rods, spears, clubs and pole weapons called ‘Guandao’ in aggressively trying to close in on an Indian position in Mukhpari area of Rezang-La ridgeline in eastern Ladakh on Monday evening, Government sources said on Tuesday. As tension escalated at the Line of Actual Control(LAC), the sources said around 50-60 soldiers of Chinese People’s Liberation Army(PLA) approached the Indian post in the southern bank of Pangon lake area at around 6 pm but the Indian Army personnel posted there strongly confronted them, forcing their retreat.
 
It may be recalled that the Chinese troops had mounted a savage attack on Indian soldiers with stones, nail-studded sticks, iron rods and clubs during the Galwan Valley clashes in eastern Ladakh on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel and 43 Chinese soldiers were killed. The Government sources said the Chinese army may have planned to engage Indian troops on Monday evening in a way similar to the clashes in Galwan Valley as its soldiers were carrying rods, spears, clubs and ‘Guandao’. Guandao is a type of Chinese pole weapon that is used in some forms of Chinese martial arts.
 
It has a blade mounted atop a long wooden pole. When the Indian Army forced the Chinese troops to return, they fired 10-15 rounds in the air to intimidate Indian soldiers, in the first use of firearms along the LAC after a gap of 45 years. The previous instance of shots being fired at the de-facto border was in 1975. The sources said Indian troops did not use any firearm. They said the attempt of the Chinese troops was to remove Indian Army from the strategic heights in Mukhpari peak and Rezang-La areas. The PLA has been eyeing to capture the strategic heights in the last three-four days, the sources said, adding the Chinese troops damaged an iron fence on Monday evening which was put up by Indian troops in the area. India continues to dominate strategic peaks around the southern bank of Pangong lake area overlooking key Chinese formations in the Moldo area.
 
 
The PLA late on Monday night alleged that Indian troops crossed the LAC and “outrageously fired” warning shots near the Pangong lake. Rejecting the charges, the Army on Tuesday said that at no stage the Indian troops crossed the LAC or resorted to use of any “aggressive means”, including firing, as alleged by the Chinese PLA. “At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing. It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manuveres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress,” the Army said. Tensions escalated manifold along the LAC in eastern Ladakh after the Galwan Valley clashes. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details.
 
According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35. The border situation deteriorated again after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30. India occupied a number of strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake and strengthened its presence in Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in the region to thwart any Chinese actions.
 
China has strongly objected to India’s move. However, India has maintained that the heights are on its side of the LAC. India has also rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region following China’s transgression attempts. Following China’s fresh attempts to change the status quo in the southern bank of Pangong lake, India has further bolstered its military presence in the region.