15 battalions of Indian Army on high alert in Ladakh: Reports

The Indian Army has put 15 of its battalions on high alert in eastern Ladakh keeping in view the incidents of incursions there, reports suggested on Sunday.

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2014, 06:51 AM IST
15 battalions of Indian Army on high alert in Ladakh: Reports

New Delhi: The Indian Army has put 15 of its battalions on high alert in eastern Ladakh keeping in view the incidents of incursions there, reports suggested on Sunday.

The Army is also keeping its 'reserve units' on alert.

As per reports in a leading daily, the move is aimed to counter the incursions of China's People's Liberation Army in the high-altitude region.

Three flag meetings between local military commanders in the recent past failed to make any headway to de-escalate the tension at the border imbroglio at both Chumar and Demchok.

The standoff in Chumar region in Ladakh worsened on Saturday after a second intrusion by Chinese army personnel in two days was reported at another point after they had withdrawn from the same area.

Around 50 personnel of PLA arrived in nine vehicles at Point 30R and they were in addition to the 35-odd personnel who were already camping at a hillock in the Chumar area itself, official sources said, as per PTI.

Chumar is located 300 km Northeast of Ladakh.

The Chinese soldiers immediately alighted from the vehicles and positioned themselves barely 100 metres away from the Indian Army, which had decided not to withdraw completely from the region even after the Chinese PLA had returned on their own to their side on Thursday night, the sources said.

The 30-R post in Chumar has been frequented by PLA often as Indian Army has kept an observation post which dominates the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and gives advantage to India in keeping a vigil on the Chinese activity deep across the border.

The Chinese helicopters were air dropping food packets for its soldiers but had not violated the air space till now, the sources said.

The Army, which had started scaling down operations from the area following the Chinese withdrawal Thursday night, put a halt and again started pitching their tents bracing themselves for a possible stand-off, the sources said.

The tension in this area erupted on Sunday when some of the Chinese workers, who were constructing road on their side, started entering into the Indian side and also claimed that they had orders to build road upto Tible, five km deep into the Indian territory.

The Indian army asked the Chinese workers to leave as otherwise they would face prosecution under Indian laws for entering the country illegally.

As per reports, around 1,000 PLA troops were still occupying six to seven tactical positions in the Chumar sector till Sunday evening.

Over 1,000 Indian troops, too, are maintaining their forward deployment in the Chumar region.

Meanwhile, even though the standoff is limited to the southern part of eastern Ladakh as of now, the Army-ITBP together have reportedly stepped up patrols from Daulat Beg Oldi in the north to Chumar near the Himachal border.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the border issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping when the latter was on a visit to India recently.

He had said that solving the boundary issue between the two countries was important for growing economic cooperation and had added that a clarification on the LAC was important.

On his part Jinping had said that both India and China were capable of managing the border situation effectively and had added that it should be dealt in a way that it did not have an impact on ties.

With Agency inputs