New Delhi, December 13
The India-China clash at Yangtse in Arunachal on December 9 that left 34 Indian and nearly 40 Chinese soldiers injured was building up since early October when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) doubled its troops along its side of the LAC.
Editorial: Provocation in Arunachal
Since 2020, there has been rapid building up of infrastructure, including airbases. Sources said just before the Communist Party of China commenced its 20th congress on October 16, the PLA had doubled the number of its troops facing Sikkim and Arunachal. India had matched the numbers for exigencies like the one that occurred four days ago.
The PLA was targeting the Indian outpost in the contested area called Yanki, a part within the Yangtse area. Parts of Yanki are claimed by both sides as the perception of the LAC varies on ground. There are multiple such disputed points along the 3,488-km-long LAC. The Indian Army post at Yanki was attacked by some 300-strong unit of the PLA and it was not a routine patrol, sources told The Tribune. The Indian outpost faces Chinese posts that are located some 1,000 metres away. The attempt was to dislodge the Indian side from Yanki, sources said.
Sources said the PLA tried to overrun the outpost with a target to capture it. The outpost normally has 30 men. Immediate support was provided from the battalions located in the icy heights to thwart the PLA attack.
Indian Army has had injuries to 34 of its soldiers, eight of whom have been shifted to Guwahati. About 40 PLA troops have also been injured. The Indian outpost at Yanki continues to be maintained at the same spot, which provides a commanding view to the ingress routes of the valley from the Tibetan side. The PLA has been building pressure in Yangtse area since 2011. The area had seen a major face-off in 2016 and another in October 2021 when the PLA attempted to claim a 17,000-foot-high peak that is in Indian control.
US-based policy research organisation The Center for Strategic and International Studies in March released a report “How Is China Expanding its Infrastructure to Project Power Along its Western Borders”. “China is constructing or upgrading 37 airports and heliports in Tibet and Xinjiang since 2017. The pace of this activity sped up significantly in 2020. That year alone, China began constructing seven new air facilities and initiated upgrades at seven others,” the report said.
Not allowed to raise queries, Oppn walks out
The Congress-led Opposition walked out of the Rajya Sabha after Deputy Chairman Harivansh said clarifications could not be allowed on a sensitive national security matter such as the Tawang clash. He cited four precedents to deny Opposition MPs permission when they rose to seek clarifications after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement on Tawang in the House. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also cited rules saying no clarifications could be sought.
Modi govt will defend every inch
The PM Modi-led government will not allow an inch of India’s territory to be encroached upon by China or any other country. Our soldiers drove away all infiltrators within a few hours and protected our motherland. — Amit Shah, Union Home Minister
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