India’s Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag has dismissed reports of any Chinese incursion into the Indian territory in Burtse area in Ladakh.
Media reports have indicated that a patrol of Indian troops noticed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel moving from their base toward the higher ‘New Patrol base’ post in Burtse area of North Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, pitched tents and held up flags that read “this is Chinese territory, go back”. These reports suggested that Indian troops, after walking barely 1.5km from their base, spotted the Chinese personnel in the Indian territory, 25 to 30 km from the perceived Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Army Chief, when questioned about the reported Chinese incursions, replied “There is nothing like that.” Defence ministry officials have also denied any Chinese incursion and said there are incidents of “transgression” from China due to different perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, in response to a question during the recently concluded parliament session, had spoken on the same lines. “There is no commonly delineated LAC between India and China. There are areas along the border where India and China have differing perception of LAC. Due to both sides undertaking patrolling upto their respective perception of the LAC, transgressions do occur,” Jaitley had said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
“However, no incursion or encroachment of Indian territory by China has taken place along the India-China border,” the minister had said.
Jaitley had stressed that 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”, etc. wherein they are guided by provisions of various agreements between the two countries.
The reports of Chinese incursions and the government’s denial have created a political uproar, with the Congress criticizing the NDA-led BJP regime of turning a blind eye to Chinese aggression.
“Chinese PLA (People’s Liberation Army) has reportedly intruded 25 km into Indian territory — Burtse area of north Ladakh and government (is) ambivalently justifying Chinese action,” Congress leader Manish Tewari said in a tweet.
“Government says China (is) coming to (a) perception line? With Chinese maps showing Arunachal, Askai Chin and Karakoram as theirs, will government allow them there too?” he said.
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