Source : News18
New Delhi: The clash between the Indian Army and Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops last week at the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, in which soldiers from both the sides suffered injuries, began as a large Chinese patrol attempted to transgress the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Army officers said on Monday.
The incident took place on early morning on December 9 at the disputed Yangtse area in Tawang.
According to Army officers, around 200 Chinese soldiers tried to transgress the LAC, but the Indian troops contested the PLA attempts in a “firm and resolute manner”. “This face-off led to minor injuries to few personnel from both sides,” an officer in the Army said.
The sources said both sides immediately disengaged from the area.
“As a follow-up, our commander in the area held a flag meeting with his counterpart to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquility,” the officer added.
What TRIGGERED THE CLASH?
Government officials told News18 that the Indian troops were following the routine pre-decided patrolling format, but the Chinese troops initiated an argument over the patrolling area, which was met with an objection from the Indian troops.
“The altercation triggered the clash, which lasted for several hours. While troops of both sides have suffered injuries, the number of troops injured in the clash is not yet clear. The injured Indian troops are being provided the required medical treatment,” a government official said.
The official added that the Chinese troops have suffered more injuries than their Indian counterparts. “The Indian troops have suffered minor injuries to their hands, legs and back and a few have suffered bruises on their faces too,” the official said, adding that all Indian agencies have been alerted after the incident.
NOT THE FIRST CLASH AT YANGTSE
This is not the first time that the Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed at Yangtse.
In October last year, News18 reported that a major clash had broken out between Indian and Chinese troops in the same area after a Chinese patrol of around 200 troops had attempted to transgress the LAC at Yangtse and damaged unoccupied bunkers on the Indian side.
India had detained a few Chinese soldiers for several hours at that time and several Chinese soldiers were majorly injured in the incident.
In 2016, more than 200 Chinese troops had reportedly transgressed into the Indian side of the LAC at Yangtse, but had gone back in a few hours.
Army officers said in certain areas of the LAC in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, there are areas of differing perception, and both sides patrol the area up to their claim lines. “This has been the trend since 2006,” an officer said.
Tawang, which has strategic and historic importance, has three mutually-accepted disputed areas.
Senior government officials explained that such face-offs in Yangtse are a common feature twice a year— ahead of and post winter — since 1999.
“India dominates the ridge there and China perceives it as an intrusion, so attempts to show aggression,” an official said.