India, China troops were in face-to-face in Chumar
New Delhi: Indian and Chinese troops were in a "face-to-face" situation in Chumar area of Ladakh after Chinese had "transgressed" into Indian territory on June 17 and removed surveillance camera which were subsequently returned, officials admitted on Thursday.
Observing that there were some "sensitivities" involved on Chinese side given the strategic advantage to India in Chumar, official sources said "the Chinese patrol did transgress and there was a face-to-face with the Indian patrol......After which the Chinese patrol went back to their normal bases."
The intrusion took place on June 17 when the troops of China`s People`s Liberation Army (PLA) entered Indian territory in Chumar sector and started vandalising the observation bunkers besides cutting the wires which overlook the Chinese territory.
Chumar, located 300km from here, has always been an area of discomfort for Chinese troops as this is the only area along the Sino-Indian border where they do not have any direct access to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The 21-day face-off between the two sides in the remote Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector on April 15 was triggered by construction of an observation tower in Chumar division which had to be subsequently dismantled by the Army on May 5 before the crisis was defused.
The Chinese side, according to the minutes of the flag meetings in the last week of March in 2013, had been objecting to the construction of the watch tower along the LAC in Chumar.
After dismantling the observation post and defence bunkers, the Army had installed cameras to monitor the movement of Chinese troops along the LAC, a step which had irked PLA.
This area is not accessible from the Chinese side whereas the Indian side has a road almost to the last point on which the Army can carry loads upto nine tonnes.
The sources also said the discussions on Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) was "work in progress" and refused the divulge any details.
When asked about reports that China has demanded a freeze on infrastructure construction along the LAC and also on the proposed mountain strike corps, the sources said it was not up to any other country to tell India about its security build-up.
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