Five days after two Chinese helicopters violated Indian air space on July 11 in the Chumar sector, riding on horses and ponies around 50 Chinese soldiers again intruded the Indian territory of the Chumar area in Ladakh last week staking their claim over the area.
Experts feel this was Beijing’s way of reacting to India’s decision to raise two mountain strike corps to counter China. The latest incursion took place on July 16, the day India gave approval to the creation of the 50,000-strong strike corps along the border with China.
Once again, there has been no official word from the Defence Ministry on China’s repeated provocative steps, but sources confirmed that the Chinese troops intruded in the Chumar area on the evening of July 16 and remained there till the morning of July 17.
Source said, not only the intruding Chinese soldiers asked the Indian soldiers to vacate the area claiming they were standing in Chinese territory, the PLA soldiers stayed put for more than 12 hours.
Indian and Chinese troops were in a “face-to-face” situation in Chumar area on June 17 also after the later had “transgressed” into the Indian territory and removed a surveillance camera which were subsequently returned. The troops of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also vandalised the observation bunkers besides cutting the wires which overlook the Chinese territory.
Chumar has always been an area of discomfort for Chinese troops as this is the only area along the Sino-Indian border where they do not have any direct access to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The 21-day face-off between the two sides in the remote Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector on April 15 was triggered by construction of an observation tower in Chumar division which had to be subsequently dismantled by the Army on May 5 before the crisis was defused.
The Chinese side, according to the minutes of the flag meetings in the last week of March this year, had been objecting to the construction of the watch tower along the LAC in Chumar.
After dismantling the observation post and defence bunkers, the Army had installed cameras to monitor the movement of Chinese troops along the LAC, a step which irked PLA.
This area is not accessible from the Chinese side whereas the Indian side has a road almost to the last point on which the Army can carry loads upto nine tonnes. The sources also said the discussions on Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) was “work in progress” and refused the divulge any details.
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