India Dismantles China's Watch Tower In Ladakh Sector

12 September 2015
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: After a long gap, tension again escalated between India and China Army along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh after People's Liberation Army (PLA) started construction of a watch tower after intruding about 500 meters deep inside the Indian territory but faced stiff resistance from the Indian troops, who not only dismantled the construction work but also prevented the PLA from carrying out it further. Top official sources confirmed to the Excelsior that India and China troops were presently in eyeball-to-eyeball position at Burtse sub sector of Leh district in Ladakh region with at least 90 soldiers of PLA camping about 500 meters inside the Indian territory and refusing to return despite warning by the Indian Army, which refused to allow the PLA soldiers to construct watch tower inside the Indian area. 'This is first major standoff between the Sino-Indian troops along the LAC during over 15 months tenure of Narendra Modi led BJP Government at the Centre and over six months rule of PDP-BJP Government in Jammu and Kashmir,' sources said, adding that top brass of the Army in the Northern Command have briefed Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who has sounded Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar about the Chinese incursions inside the Indian territory. Sources said the Indian Army spotted movement of the PLA about 500 meters inside the Indian territory at Burtse in Leh sector of Northern Ladakh frontiers along with China. The troops objected to construction of watch tower by the PLA and asked the Chinese soldiers to dismantle it. However, the Chinese Army refused. 'In the wee hours of this morning, the Indian troops dismantled the construction work undertaken by the PLA inside the Indian territory,' sources said, adding following this about 90 Chinese soldiers entered into the Indian territory about 500 meters inside and started camping there. However, they didn't take up fresh construction work due to forceful resistance by the Indian troops. Presently, according to sources, the Indian and Chinese troops were in eyeball-to-eyeball position at Burtse. The Indian troops advance to their own territory this morning to ensure that the PLA troops didn't manage re-construction of dismantled watch tower of Chinese Army. According to sources, the situation was well under control though tensions persisted between the two sides. A UNI report from New Delhi quoted an Army spokesman, who denied the report while a PTI report from Delhi said the Defence Ministry officials declined to comment. During 2013, the Indian Army and PLA were locked in month long battle over Chinese incursions in Daulat-Beg-Oldie (DBO) sector while in early 2014, similar situation persisted in Chumar sector. In Chumar sector, tension had erupted when some Chinese workers, who were constructing a road on their side, crossed into the Indian side claiming that they had ordered to build up road up to Tible, about five kilometers deep inside the Indian territory. However, the PLA had retreated following diplomatic level discussions. After takeover of Narendra Modi Government, this is first major standoff in Ladakh. Modi had visited China in May. Prior to him, the Chinese President Xi Jinpiang had visited India. China is said to be eyeing this area, which gives advantage to India to overlook the Karakoram highway linking the territory illegally occupied by China with Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Besides, India has an Advanced Ground Landing (AGL) facility in Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) which was activated in August 2013 and the Indian Air Force had managed to land a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft at the air strip located at 16614 feet above sea level. After reports about the construction of a hutment reached ITBP personnel, a joint patrol of para-military forces and the Army was sent to the area after which it was demolished. Attempts for a flag meeting did not succeed as Chinese side did not revert on the date for a meet, the sources said. The PLA troops had made attempts to push the Indian troops back but these were thwarted, they said. Indian troops displayed the banners in Chinese asking the PLA to return to their side, the officials said. India and China share over 4,000 km of LAC. China claims approximately 90,000 sq km of territory in Arunachal Pradesh besides 38,000 sq km in Jammu and Kashmir sector.