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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Chinese helicopters enter Indian air space twice

Sumir Kaul, PTI  Leh, August 30, 2009
First Published: 15:07 IST(30/8/2009) | Last Updated: 23:10 IST(30/8/2009)

Two Chinese helicopters have reportedly violated the Indian air space in recent months in Leh area of north Jammu and Kashmir during which they air-dropped some canned food in barren land at Chumar, northeast of this Himalayan town, along the border.

The MI series helicopters were reported to the nearby defence post by residents of this high altitude area living along the Pangong lake, located in the lap of majestic hills, prompting the Army Aviation Corps to rush its Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

However, they could only find tell-tale signs left by Chinese helicopters which hovered in the Indian territory for nearly five minutes dropping the food material on June 21 this year, sources said.

When contacted, Army spokesperson for Udhampur-based Northern Command told PTI that “there was a report of a helicopter flying in the area south of Chumar, where India and China have differences in perception on the Line of Actual Control. It was reported by grazers.”

A confidential defence document accessed by PTI shows that Chinese helicopters entered into Indian air space along Damchok area and Trig Heights in Ladakh and air dropped canned food containing frozen pork and brinjal, which had passed the expiry date.

Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been crossing over into the Indian side in this region quite frequently with
August reporting the maximum number of incursions.

Trig Heights also known as Trade junction, which connected Ladakh with Tibet in earlier days, is an area where
Chinese patrol have frequented this year in June, July and August.

Chinese Army patrols have made 26 sorties in June, including two incursions by helicopters, and 21 in July.

In August this year, Chinese patrols have entered into the Indian territory 26 times and walked away with Petrol and
kerosene meant for jawans of the border guarding forces. The Chinese army had made 223 attempts last year and left
tell-tale signs.

The Army spokesperson, however, tried to downplay these incursions attempts saying "there are a few areas along the
border where India and China have different perceptions of the LAC. Both sides patrol upto their respective perceptions of LAC."

"Due to perceived differences in the alignment of LAC, the Chinese patrol does transgress beyond our perception of
the LAC in a few areas. The pattern of transgressions has remained similar over a long period of time," the spokesperson
said.

Incursions have taken place in eastern Ladakh and on the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake, located 168 kilometres from Leh. Chinese patrols come frequently on the North and South of this lake, whose 45 kilometres are on Indian side while another 90 on Chinese side.

India and China have been engaged in talks over the Line of Actual Control and had exchanged maps in 2002. In the western sector (East Jammu and Kashmir), the Samar Lungpa area, between the Karakoram Pass and the Chipchap river, is contentious, with Chinese maps showing the LAC to be south of the Samar Lungpa.

This is the northernmost part of the border, far to the north of Leh. But while the Indo-Tibetan Border Police operates north of the line the Chinese claim to be the border, they remain south of the Lungpa. South of the Chipchap River are the Trig Heights, comprising Points 5495 and 5459.

Chinese troops frequently enter the area and in fact, they have a name for Point 5459; Manshen Hill. The area, south-east of Trig Heights, called Depsang Ridge is also contentious. Differences were found when Chinese small-scale maps were interposed on large-scaled Indian ones.


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