Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 8
Bullets were fired along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh on Monday, a first such incident in the area since November 1962, as India and China blamed each other for the firing.
The incident occurred at Mukhpari mountain top near Rezang La, where the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fought a pitched battle during the 1962 war.
A statement by the Ministry of Defence today said: “At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing.” India blamed the PLA for the September 7 incident.
“The PLA troops attempted to close in on one of our forward positions along the LAC. When dissuaded, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own (Indian) troops,” the statement said, adding despite the grave provocation, “own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner”.
The Indian response came following a statement issued by China earlier in the day, accusing Indian troops of having fired shots across the LAC in the area south of the Pangong Tso. The statement by PLA’s Western Theatre Command spokesperson Col Zhang Shuili was reported by the Chinese state-owned news outlet at 2.30 am. India has termed the Chinese statement misleading. “The statement by the Western Theatre Command (of the PLA) is an attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience,” the Indian statement said.
India has said it was committed to disengagement and de-escalation on the LAC, while China continues to undertake provocative activities. The PLA has been blatantly violating agreements, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political levels is on. The Army was committed to maintaining peace, but was also determined to protecting national integrity and sovereignty at all costs, it said. The PLA had earlier said: “The Indian Army blatantly fired threats to the patrol personnel of the Chinese border guards who had made representations, and the Chinese border guards were forced to take countermeasures to stabilise the situation.”
First in area since 1962
- This is the first firing incident in Ladakh since the 1962 war. Even during the Galwan clash, no bullets were fired
- In 1975, a few Assam Rifles men were killed in an ambush in Arunachal
Carried rods, spears
Around 50-60 PLA soldiers were armed with rods and sharp weapons as they tried to close in on Indian-held Mukhpari mountain top in eastern Ladakh on Monday evening, but the Army confronted them, forcing their retreat, govt sources said
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