Chinese troops crossed Line of Actual Control 150 times this year

With three incursions in the past five days, Chinese aggression in Ladakh is showing no signs of let-up.

New Delhi: With three incursions in the past five days, Chinese aggression in Ladakh is showing no signs of let-up. According to sources, the incidents happened on July 16, 17 and 20, when Chinese troops crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and came two kilometres inside Indian territory in Chumar sector.

Sources said the Chinese Army patrol has crossed the 4,087km LAC more than 150 times this year. In fact, ever since the intrusion in Daulat Beg Oldie in April, which lasted three weeks, the incursions have become a frequent affair.

On Monday, Army chief Bikram Singh met defence minister AK Antony and national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and apprised them of the present situation at the LAC.

The aggression shown by the Chinese troops is also a cause for worry. On June 17, Chinese troops came to the Indian side and took away surveillance cameras installed by the Indian Army. The equipment was returned only after the matter was raised during a flag meeting between the two armies.

In the most recent incident, a patrol of around 20 Chinese soldiers, riding on horses, entered Chumar area in Ladakh sector. Sources said they were carrying placards asking Indian forces to leave the “occupied territories”.

“Both sides conduct patrol up to their perception of the LAC. There was a face-off with the patrol. But after a usual banner drill between the two sides, both of them disengaged peacefully,” Army sources said. India is likely to raise the issue at an upcoming flag meeting. India and China have major differences of perception of the LAC at several places.

An official said that Chumar has been regularly targeted by the Chinese troops because the Indian Army has better defensive capabilities there. The recently-developed infrastructure and construction of bunkers in the disputed area have further irked the Chinese.“The Chinese Army keeps patrolling to maintain their claim, especially in Chumar, since we have an advantage because of the terrain,” said an official.

In fact, the construction of bunkers and other observatory post by the Indian side was the major trigger for the Chinese setting up tents post in Daulat Beg Oldie in April. The Chinese retreated only after India agreed to their demand to dismantle the bunkers at the disputed site.