Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 31
About four weeks ago when Indian and Chinese military patrol parties stood face to face against each other for hours along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh, the bone of contention was control of a 17,000 feet high peak that provides commandeering view on both sides of the border.
- Situated along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh, the peak has immense strategic significance
- Provides commanding view on both sides of the border
- India controls access routes to the top on its side of the border
Sources confirmed to The Tribune that the peak has been the target of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
During the recent tension when the PLA made an attempt at an area called Yangtse, 35 km northeast of Tawang, its patrol parties came close to one of the access routes of the Indian Army to the top of the peak. The attempt was thwarted and the area is now under snow and will remain so till March.
The location is of such strategic importance that the Indian Army and the PLA each have estimated 3,000-3,500 men on either side of Yangtse area. Unmanned aerial vehicles keep an eye and long-range sensors provide real-time images. Both sides have a network of roads and tracks along the LAC to counter patrol parties.
The peak provides a commanding view of Tibet across the LAC. India is in firm control to the top and its access routes from own side. The Yangtse area is part of the wider area, which the military terms as ‘Mago-Chuna’. The Nuranang river meanders into India from Tibet close to the mountain spur where the peak is situated.
Patrol parties come face to face several times in a year as both sides undertake patrolling activities up to their line of perception of the LAC (alignment of the LAC is disputed on ground). Whenever the patrols of both sides physically meet, the situation is managed according to established protocols and mechanisms agreed upon by both sides. One part of the protocol is unfurling a banner at each other, asking the rival side to return. “Physical engagement at any spot can last for a few hours prior to disengaging,” a source said.
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