NEW DELHI: In a major threshold shift in tension along the Line of Actual Control, the Chinese PLA fired bullets during its movement in the Chushul area. This incident is the first in 45 years in which bullets have been fired.
Responding to claims of illegal crossing by China, Defence Ministry on Monday clarified that PLA troops on September 7 tried to close in to an Indian position and when dissuaded by Indian Army troops they fired few rounds in air.
Speaking on the immediate incident of firing, Colonel Aman Anand, Spokesperson Indian Army made it clear that 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 Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility, however, is also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs.
At no stage has Indian Army transgressed across LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing, said Indian Army on China's claim.
The Ministry of Defence added that the action by PLA was to intimidate the Indian troops.
“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.”
"Despite grave provocation, Indian troops exercised great restraint and behaved in mature and responsible manner. It is Chinese PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manuveres. PLA soldiers fired a few rounds in air in an attempt to intimidate Indian troops China continues to undertake provocative activities to escalate situation. Our forces committed to maintaining peace and tranquility; also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs," said the Indian Army on the situation in Eastern Ladakh.
BREAK: PLA troops on September 7 tried to close in to an Indian position and when dissuaded by IndianArmy troops they fired few rounds in air to intimidate Indian troops: Ministry of Defence@NewIndianXpress @TheMornStandard— Mayank (@scribesoldier) September 8, 2020
Earlier, the spokesperson of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theater Command, Colonel Zhang Shuili, made a statement on Monday that it was Indian army which made a provocative move of illegal crossing of the line.
The Global Times tweeted quoting the spokesperson of the Western Theatre Command as saying, “The Indian Army again illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control in Shenpao mountain near the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake on Monday” .
According to the paper, the Chinese spokesperson said PLA was forced to take countermeasures to stabilise the situation after Indian troops ‘outrageously’ fired warning shots at Chinese troops who were about to negotiate.
"The Chinese border guards were forced to take countermeasures to stabilise the situation," a People's Liberation Army (PLA) spokesperson said.
The PLA official also said the Indian army "illegally crossed the LAC and entered the south bank of Pangong Lake and the Shenpao mountain area".
"During the operation, 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 stabilize the situation on the ground," he further said.
IMPORTANT!— Mayank (@scribesoldier) September 8, 2020
Army Chief briefed DefenceMinister about the situation Early morning .
Assessment of situation frm local commanders was taken by Army Headquaters yesterday only .
High level meetings likely in second half in SouthBlock with CDS,Def Sec & 3 hiefs wl be part of this
Calling it a "serious provocation of a very bad nature", China said, "We request the Indian side to immediately stop dangerous actions".
The statement by the Western Theatre Command is an attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience, said Colonel Anand.
It was in 1975 that the Chinese PLA had crossed the Line of Actual Control in Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh and ambushed a patrol of Assam Rifles jawans, killing four of them.
India recently outflanked China by taking control of strategic height near Pangong lake's southern bank.
It thwarted an attempt by the Chinese army to transgress into Indian areas near the southern bank of Pangong Tso near Chushul in Ladakh.
India and China are engaged in a standoff since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including Finger area, Galwan valley, Hot springs and Kongrung Nala. The situation worsened after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan valley in June.
The talks between the two sides have been going on for the last three months including five Lieutenant general-level talks but have failed to yield any results, so far.
(With Online Desk, Agencies inputs)