Notwithstanding the denials of the Indian Army, it now transpires that there has been a series of incursions by the Chinese Army across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Depsang plains and Chumar sector of eastern Ladakh between December 19-20.
A brief face-off with the ITBP troops also took place at Raki Nullah near Burtse, the key to Indian patrolling in Depsang plains. In April-May, a 21-day face-off between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) took place at the same spot.
Senior officials of the external affairs ministry declined to comment due to non-availability of information from the army. But sources said around 3pm on December 19, the ITBP post at Burtse had sighted PLA troopers at Raki Nullah. The troopers confronted the PLA men, resulting in the half-an-hour face-off which ended with the two sides performing the banner drill, warning the other about transgression. “Any blockage at Raki Nullah means the Indian side cannot patrol at least four posts,” said a senior official.
Official sources said despite a temperature of minus 25 degrees Celsius, the ITBP troopers chased the PLA men through the night and discovered they had come from a new tented post at the nearby “Y” nullah. Again, the troops confronted the Chinese and the incursion was vacated around 4pm.
The Indian DIG confirmed the end of the face-off to Delhi.
While the PLA and ITBP were playing cat-and-mouse game at Raki Nullah, around 15 Chinese armymen on horses were sighted in Takdip area of Chumar, 500 km south of Depsang plains, on December 19. The Indians chased them away and the PLA men left the area only by evening.
“Despite the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement signed between two sides, there is no let-up in Chinese transgressions across the LAC. In fact, the number of transgressions has increased in comparison to last year,” said a China watcher.