M A I N   N E W S

Chinese troops intrude into Arunachal
Enter 30 km inside Indian territory, stay for over two days before withdrawing
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, August 21
Indian and Chinese troops had a tense eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in the eastern-most part of India in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh, ratcheting up tension and raising questions among Indian security circles about the latest moves by China.

The Chinese troops arrived on August 11 at Plam-Plam in Anjaw district. On being noticed on August 13, Indian troops asked the Chinese to withdraw, using ‘banner drill’ under which soldiers of either side, on coming face to face, unfurl a banner asking the other to go back. This is part of a protocol already decided between the two countries to avoid any gunshot being fired.

The area is so remote that India has not deployed soldiers right at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), but keeps them a few kilometres in the rear and send out patrol teams, a practice also followed by China. At an altitude of 12,000 feet (approx), there is no nomadic or settled population.

Army sources told The Tribune that the Chinese soldiers had withdrawn from there, a fact confirmed by sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs. On being confronted, the Chinese had claimed they had been patrolling this area since 2001, indicating that they have evidence of their previous visits.

BJP’s Kirran Rijju, former MP from the area, claimed “the face-off continues till date”. Sources in the Army and the MHA have refuted Rijju’s claims categorically. The face-off occurred at the spot which India perceives as its territory and China claims its own.

As per Indian claims, the area is 30 km inside the Indian territory. The Army categorises this as ‘Chaglagam sector’. This incident does not qualify in the same category as the Depsang plains face-off in the eastern Ladakh which lasted some three weeks. Fully armed soldiers on either side stood ground. Ultimately, both sides withdrew on May 6.

A Brigadier-rank Indian Army officer went on a recce sortie with two choppers to assess the ground situation. Sources said the Chinese troops towed along heavy machinery aimed at cutting a track through the mountains.

“On account of differences in perception of the LAC, transgressions do take place. The government regularly takes up any such incident with the Chinese,” Defence Minister AK Antony had told Parliament at the start of the ongoing monsoon session.

Incidentally, the location of the face-off is near Walong, where the two armies fought a pitched battle in 1962. Rather, this was one sector where the Indian Army held back the Chinese in 1962.

Extremely remote area

  • As per Indian claims, the area, where the face-off took place, is 30 km inside the Indian territory and the Army categorises this as ‘Chaglagam sector’.
  • The area is so remote that India has not deployed its soldiers along the LAC, but keeps them a few kilometres in the rear and sends out patrol teams
  • The practice has also been followed by China.
  • At an altitude of 12,000 feet (approx), there is no nomadic or settled population.

China ‘creating’ evidence

  • As per Indian assessment, China is creating evidence of its claims along the 4057-km long un-demarcated LAC.
  • Since there is no demarcation of the LAC on the ground, this is done by taking pictures of its patrol parties.
  • The second modus operandi is to build structures to show presence and claim as on territory. This is common on the sections of the LAC which are in dispute.
  • China has been following the same pattern in Ladakh.





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