Free Press Journal

Local army commanders to meet after India-China troops face-off


India, China Border

Leh/New Delhi: A meeting of local commanders of the armies of India and China is expected to take place tomorrow as the face-off between the two sides in the heights of Ladakh’s Burtse area after Indian troops demolished a hut constructed on Indian soil ended in the wee hours of today. ITBP and Army jawans demolished the hut that was constructed 1.5 km inside the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on Friday leading to a face-off between the two sides, official sources said today. The area is located 210 km northeast of Leh. The hut, with a solar panel on top, had a camera which recorded the movement of Indian troops, the sources said while giving details about the incursion.

The construction was done by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to claim that the area belongs to them. This area is adjacent to Depsang plains where PLA had pitched camps in April, 2013 that had led to a three-week long stalemate. After the demolition of the hut, Indian troops kept the camera and other material which will be handed over to the Chinese side in the form of evidence during the local army commanders meeting scheduled for tomorrow, the sources said.

Earlier the meeting was scheduled for today which was subsequently postponed for tomorrow, they said. China has been trying to make inroads in Burtse area as it will give access to the PLA to monitor the activities of Indian troops based in Old Patol base besides trying to deny an advantage to India to overlook the Karakoram highway linking the territory illegally occupied by China with Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir(PoK).

Besides, India has an Advanced Ground Landing (AGL) facility in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) which was activated in August 2013 and the Indian Air Force(IAF) had managed to land a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft at the air strip located at 16,614 feet above sea level.

The initial existence of a hut was seen first on a satellite imagery after which a joint patrol of ITBP and army was sent to the area to have a report from ground zero. Later, it was decided to demolish the hut which prompted Chinese PLA to reach the area resulting in a face-off. Indian troops displayed the banners in Chinese asking the PLA to return to their side, the officials said.

India and China share over 4,000 km of LAC. China claims approximately 90,000 sq km of territory in Arunachal Pradesh besides 38,000 sq km in Jammu and Kashmir sector.