Indian Army plays China's game, puts out statement accusing Beijing of firing first shot
PTI

After China claimed that Indian troops "illegally crossed" the Line of Actual Control (LAC) near Pangong Tso, on Tuesday the Indian Army slammed the Chinese PLA for "blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress."

"In the instant case on 07 September 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops. However, despite the grave provocation, own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner," Indian Army said in statement

The army said that "at no stage it transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing. It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress.”

The statement further added that while "Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity, however is also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs. The statement by the Western Theatre Command is an attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience.”

The Chinese government owned Global Times has claimed that Indian troops "illegally crossed" the Line of Actual Control (LAC) near Pangong Tso on Monday and accordingly Chinese troops were forced to take "countermeasures" to stabilise the situation.

"Indian troops crossed the LAC at the west section of the China-India border, into the Shenpao mountain region near the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake," the Global Times reported quoting senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, a spokesperson of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) western command theatre.

"The Indian side's move seriously violated related agreements reached by both sides, stirred up tensions in the region, and would easily cause misunderstandings and misjudgments, which is a serious military provocation ...", the spokesperson said. The spokesperson demanded that the Indian Army personnel "to immediately stop dangerous moves, withdraw personnel who crossed the LAC at once".

India and China are engaged in around four-month-long standoff at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues. On June 15, as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.

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