Bursts of bullets fired in the air near Finger 4 before Indo-China talks at Moscow
New Delhi, Sep 16: There was a major escalation of tensions along the Line of Actual Control with Indian and Chinese soldiers firing bursts of bullets into the air last week on the northern bank of Pangong Tso. This took place when the Indian Army took control over key heights that overlook the deployments of the People's Liberation Army on the Finger 4 Ridgeline.
The firing incident took place at heights where Fingers 3 and 4 merge into the Sirijap Range overlooking the Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh, officials said. The Indian and Chinese soldiers are barely at a few hundred metre distance at friction points on both sides of the lake.
The Indian Army had last week said that firing took place on the lake's southern bank as well. The Chinese troops fired their weapons into the air on September 7 to intimidate the Indian soldiers holding heights at the Mukhpari peak near Rezang La on the southern bank during a failed attempt to close in on a forward position controlled by India, the Army had said.
On Tuesday Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh made a statement in Parliament on the Indo-China issue. There was a face-off in Galwan Valley on June 15, in which the Indian forces inflicted heavy casualties on the Chinese forces, Rajnath Singh also said. The Indian forces will forcefully counter all Chinese aggressive actions along the border. Since April we have seen an increase in troops and weapon deployment along the LAC in Ladakh, Singh said.
Let no one have any doubt about our capabilities. We want peace and will continue to talk to China. Both sides should respect the Line of Actual Control Singh also said. All mutual agreements must be respected, he also said.
China does not accept customary and peripheral alignment of Sino-India border, Singh also said. There has been a massive build up by the Chinese along the LAC and this has led to several friction points, the Defence Minister also said.
Our Armed Forces will successfully thwart all threats and protect the borders. We should be proud of our forces, he further said.
These are challenging times and in the midst of the pandemic, our soldiers have protected our borders. This is also due to Border Infrastructure Management, Singh also said.
Violent conduct of Chinese troops is a violation of all past agreements. Our troops have done counter deployments in the area to safeguard our borders, the Defence Minister also said.
I have conveyed to the Chinese side that we want a peaceful resolution to the solution. I made it clear that we will not comprise on out territorial integrity. The External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar during the meeting with his counterpart also conveyed the same message, Singh also said.
China has mobilised a huge number of Army battalions and armaments along the LAC and inner areas. There are many friction points in Eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Pangong Lake's north and south banks. The Indian Army has made counter deployments in these areas, Singh also said.
On the other hand, China has deployed sizeable military assets in Eastern Ladakh that include 50,000 men, tanks, missiles and 150 aircraft. India has matched every military move made by the Chinese.
The control of the Ridgeline positions by the Indian Army on the southern bank of Pangong Tso allows it to completely dominate the sector and also keep an eye on Chinese military activity. The most significant heights are being held by India on Rezang La and Reqin Pass where the PLA is making attempts to regain lost ground.