Amid the tensions in eastern Ladakh between India and China, Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) violated the Line of Actual Control several times in the past two months, and in several places across the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand, according to intelligence reports, and unidentified security and intelligence officials quoted by Hindustan Times.
In one case, the PLA transgressing up to 40km inside Indian territory before withdrawing, the newspaper reported.
India and China have been involved in a prolonged, four-month-long standoff since April in which both sides have suffered casualties. At least twenty Indian Army troopers, including a commanding officer, were killed, and 80 injured, in Galwan in Eastern Ladakh on 15 June.
According to one intelligence official, who cannot be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, the PLA entered Arunachal Pradesh twice in July. According to him, Chinese troopers transgressed at least 26km inside Indian territory in district Anjaw and “camped for three to four days”, in the first half of that month, before exiting.
In the second instance, also in Anjaw, the PLA transgressed through Arunachal’s Hadigra Pass and came in 40km, and retreated only after leaving telltale marks, the newspaper reported.
In early August, there was a face-off in eastern Sikkim’s Jelep La area in which the PLA occupied higher ground and rolled stones onto Indian Army troops. The tension eased after senior officers intervened, but in a joint meeting between the two sides, both stayed adamant on their claim over the Jelep La area. An unidentified security official told HT: “The development was worrying because this was the first such instance in an area which has largely remained undisputed.”
A senior army official who asked not to be named said: “The PLA is trying to dominate important heights to gain tactical and strategic advantage. It is also trying to use the disengagement process to upgrade its infrastructure.”
The Indian Army did not officially comment on the multiple transgressions. The army is engaged in ground-level talks at the Brigade and Division level.