India-China standoff: No more scuffles or jostling, firing in air new normal at LAC

Published: 17 September, 2020 10:31 IST | IANS | New Delhi

Firing in the air to stop each other from intimidating their opponents stationed at at Line of Actual Control (LAC) is now the new normal in Eastern Ladakh.

Pangong Tso lake | Pic: AFP
Pangong Tso lake | Pic: AFP

Gone are the days of Chinese's People Liberation Army troops getting a chance to use barbaric weapons at borders with India. There would not be any more scuffles, pushing or jostling between Indian and Chinese troops. Firing in the air to stop each other from intimidating their opponents stationed at at Line of Actual Control (LAC) is now the new normal in Eastern Ladakh. This happened after the rules of engagement with China changed following the death of 20 Indian soldiers at Galwan Valley on June 15.

Top government sources told IANS that there have been three incidents of firing in air at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh amid heightened tensions between Indian and Chinese troops. Early September in the north bank side of Pangong Lake, when Indian troops moved towards the western side of Finger 3, the Chinese army made provocative military movements to occupy the area between Finger 3 and 4. This led to firing of around 200 shots in the air when the troops of both the countries came a few hundred metres away. In military parlance Fingers are mountain spurs jutting in the lake.

The source also stated that warning shots were also fired in southern bank side of Pangon Lake close to Chushul on September 7. Thereafter, Indian Army in a statement said that China continues to "undertake provocative activities to escalatea the situation at the border and it was Chinese People's Liberation Army troops "fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops". "At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing," Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand had said.

The force stated that it is the Chinese PLA that has been "blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at the military, diplomatic and political levels is in progress". "In the case on September 7, 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops," the force said. China also had accused Indian Army of doing firing warning shots.

Sources also stated that warning shots were also fired before these two incidents. It happened on the southern bank of Pangong Lake.

It was after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi reached an agreement in Moscow that the situation has since calmed down a bit at the borders.

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