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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Will do all to protect interests in Ladakh: govt

PTI  New Delhi, April 22, 2013
First Published: 13:03 IST(22/4/2013) | Last Updated: 14:31 IST(22/4/2013)

India will take "every step" to protect its interests to resolve the situation arising out of deep incursion by Chinese troops into Indian territory in eastern Ladakh, defence minister AK Antony said Monday.

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"We are taking every action to protect our interest... We will take every step to protect our interest," he told reporters outside Parliament House.

He was asked the government's response to the Chinese incursion some 10 to 12km deep into Indian territory.

Government sources have already said that India and China are in touch to resolve the issue of Chinese incursion into Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in eastern Ladakh and erecting a tented post.

According to government sources, the issue was raised by India after the incident came to light some time ago.

A Platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) came 10km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there, according to highly placed sources, which said that a Chinese Army Platoon usually consists of around 50 men.

Troops from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have also established a camp approximately 300 metres opposite the location, the sources said.

ITBP has asked for a Flag meeting with the Chinese side but there has been no response as of now, sources said.

When contacted, the spokesman of Udhampur-based Northern Command Col Rajesh Kalia said, "due to differences in perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) a few face-offs take place in the eastern Ladakh side. These are resolved amicably through existing mechanism."

He refused to elaborate.

The Ladakh Scouts, an Infantry regiment of the Indian Army and specializing in mountain warfare, has also moved towards the area where the situation was described as tense.

The place has not been known to have any permanent civilian population.
    
DBO, located in northernmost Ladakh, is an historic camp site and located on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China.

It lies at the easternmost point of the Karakoram Range in a cold desert region in the far north of India, just 8km south of the Chinese border and 9km northwest of the Aksai Chin LAC between China and India. Temperature plummets as low as minus 30 degree Celsius in the winters.

Other than Siachen Glacier military base, it is India's northernmost built-up area. The nearest inhabited town is Murgo to the south, which has a small population of Baltis who primarily depend on apricot farming and yak rearing.

(With PTI inputs)


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