NEW DELHI: In a late night development, Indian ad Chinese troops engaged in another exchange of firing near the Pangong Lake in Ladakh.
Government sources have said warning shots were fired at the Chinese troops who opened fire at the Indian positions late on Monday night.
However India rejected China’s allegations that Indian troops had crossed over to the Chinese side asserting that New Delhi has been taking a responsible approach towards border management.
Indian Army has issued a statement on the firing incident in Ladakh and said, “India, while is committed to disengagement and de-escalating the situation on the LAC, China continues to undertake provocative activities to escalate. 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 manoeuvres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress. In the instant case on 07 September 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by their own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate their own troops. However, despite the grave provocation, their own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner,” the Indian Army said.
Earlier, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) accused the Indian army on Monday saying that it crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the southern bank of Pangong Lake.
Twitter handle of state-run Global Times quoted the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) western theater command spokesperson saying that the Indian Army “again illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control in Shenpao Mountain near the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake on Monday.”
Military experts fear China and India’s months-long border dispute could escalate as new satellite images suggest China is ramping up its weapons capabilities in a nearby city.
Satellite images reportedly show the accelerated construction of two new runways at the Hotan airbase, its nearest base to the disputed Ladakh region, according to India Today.
According to Col Vinayak Bhat, a satellite imagery analyst, the stills also showed the construction of new buildings believed to be barracks and ammunition storage facilities.
Ladakh situation very serious
Meanwhile ahead of his expected talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar described the situation in eastern Ladakh as “very serious” which he said calls for “very very deep conversation” between the two sides at a political level.
Jaishankar was speaking at an interactive session by The Indian Express newspaper.
On Monday he said the state of the border with China cannot be de-linked from the state of the overall relationship with the neighboring country.
“The state of the border cannot be de-linked from the state of the relationship. I wrote it before that unfortunate incident happened in Galwan,” Jaishankar said referring to his newly published book ”The India Way”.
Tensions escalated manifold along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in the line of duty.
–With inputs from agencies
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