India calls out Chinese lies on Ladakh; says no firing by Indian troops

Picture of Chinese soldiers armed with stick machetes during their deployment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh sector.

Chinese soldiers fired in the air while attempting to close in on Indian positions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Monday night, the Indian Army said in a statement today, adding that Chinese PLA troops have been “blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres.”

The firing is apparently taking place on the LAC after a halt of almost four decades. In a detailed statement, the Army on Tuesday said that the Chinese troops were, on Monday night, “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.”

“It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at the military, diplomatic and political level is in progress,” the Indian Army said.

The Army’s statement came after China claimed that Indian troops “illegally crossed” the LAC near Pangong Tso on Monday and accordingly Chinese troops were forced to take “countermeasures” to stabilise the situation.

However, the Indian Army added that despite this provocation, the Indian troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a responsible manner.

“Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity, however, it is also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs,” it further said and refuted the statement by the Western Theatre Command (one of the five commands of China’s PLA) as an “attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience.”

Notably, firearms were not even used during the violent clashes that erupted between the two sides in Galwan Valley on June 15. However, 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers were left dead.

The fresh escalation has emerged at a time when external affairs minister S Jaishankar is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) ministerial meet on September 10. The external affairs minister left for Moscow on Tuesday morning.

Also Read: China accuses India of crossing LAC, firing ‘warning shots’ at bank of Pangong Lake in Ladakh

Earlier, sources had told news agency ANI that an incident of firing had taken place on the LAC in the Eastern Ladakh sector where troops of India and China have been engaged in a stand-off for over three months.

India recently outflanked China by taking control of strategic height near Pangong lake’s southern bank. It thwarted an attempt by the Chinese army to transgress into Indian areas near the southern bank of Pangong Tso near Chushul in Ladakh.

India and China have been engaged in a standoff since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including the Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot springs, and Kongrung Nala. The situation worsened after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan valley in June.

(With inputs from ANI)

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