NEW DELHI: The government on Friday told a parliamentary committee that Chinese troops have pitched tents 19km deep inside the Indian territory in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and that efforts are underway to ensure that the status quo is maintained.
Defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and some other senior officials informed the parliamentary standing committee on defence that India has deployed forces to "keep a close watch on the border", sources told .
Sharma and other officials appeared before the committee after BJP members Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Prakash Javadekar wanted to know the actual ground situation in Depsang sector of Ladakh where the Chinese incursion took place in Daulat Beg Oldie area a week ago.
The meeting of the committee was cut short as members were dissatisfied with the insufficient information provided by the officials and they were asked to report back at the next meeting on May 30 with appropriate and exact details of the situation.
The officials told the committee that Indian Army patrols reported on April 16 the presence of Chinese People's Liberation Army in Depsang, pitching tents 19km inside the LAC, the sources said.
They told the panel that as per the established mechanisms, the issue has been taken up at the level of flag meetings and through diplomatic channels to maintain status quo and resolve the issue through existing mechanisms.
The defence ministry officials told the committee that China disputes the international boundary with India and there is no commonly delineated LAC between the two countries.
They said there are a few areas along the border where India and China have differing perceptions of the LAC, the sources said.
Incidents of transgression due to differences in the perception of LAC are taken up with the Chinese side through established mechanisms such as border personnel meetings, flag meetings, hotlines and diplomatic channels, the officials told the panel.
The agenda for today's was welfare of armed forces personnel but the issue related to incursion in Ladakh was added after Naqvi and Javadekar demanded to get the clear picture of the situation and on how the government is handling it.
Naqvi and Javadekar wrote to standing committee chairman Raj Babbar on THursday, saying the situation in Ladakh is "very serious" but the government is not taking it seriously.
Talks on to resolve issue peacefully: Antony
India meanwhile reiterated that talks were on with China to resolve the latest incursion issue.
"Negotiations are on at various levels to find a peaceful solution to the Chinese incursion issue," Defence Minister AK Antony.
Antony had earlier said that the Indian "government will take every step to protect the national integrity and security".
The Defence Minister was on Thursday briefed on the Chinese incursion in Ladakh by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh.
Various options were discussed during the meeting between Gen Singh and Antony. The duo is reported to have termed the incursion a technicality that would be dealt with the local commanders on the ground. Agencies
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