Army, ITBP start joint exercise along China border in Himachal Pradesh
A day after Indian soldiers thwarted a bid by Chinese troops to intrude into Indian territory along Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh, the Indian Army and the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) started a joint exercise along the China border in Himachal Pradesh.
Barring a few incidents of air incursion, no suspicious movement of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been noticed in the Tibetan region that borders Kinnaur district of the state. This border stretch has been peaceful despite heightened Chinese activity along Ladakh after the clash between soldiers of the two nations in the Galwan Valley on June 15 in which 20 Indian army personnel died in the line of duty.
The army and ITBP joint exercise is aimed at thwarting any incursion bid and is underway near Hurling and Gayu villages in the Kaurik sector, a senior Shimla-based intelligence official said.
Himachal Pradesh shares a 260-km porous border with China. Of the total length, 140 km is in tribal Kinnaur district, while 80 km is in the tribal Lahaul and Spiti district.
Military sources said that vigil is up at all posts in the Kaurik region to prevent any night incursion bid.
China has accelerated construction activity on its side of the border, while India has also stepped up building infrastructure at its forward posts of Lepcha and Murmi Dogri, which are manned by the ITBP. Five ITBP battalions deployed in 20 posts guard the border with China.
China’s building a road on no man’s land between the two countries came to fore after villagers of Kunnu-Charang in Kinnaur informed the local administration and border patrol in June. China has speeded up road construction along the border in the Tango and Yamrang regions that lie opposite the Chitkul and Charang villages on the Indian side.