Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) of China has entered more than 600 meters into the Indian Territory at the Galwan Valley, while its troops have set up camps at Finger Four on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.
This has been revealed by Konchok Stanzin, Executive Councilor who represents Chushul constituency in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh. It is the same constituency where Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a tense standoff in Eastern Ladakh.
The standoff has been continuing in the Ladakh area for more than a month. A meeting between top military officers of both India and China was held on Saturday. Though the meeting ended without a breakthrough, China’s foreign ministry later said that there was consensus that the differences should not turn into disputes.
India has boosted its troop presence in the northern area, matching China in numbers and resources. Home minister Amit Shah, while addressing a virtual rally for the people of Bihar, said that India’s defence policy has gained global acceptance. He said that the whole world agrees that after USA and Israel if there is any other country that is able to protect its borders, it is India.
China claims approximately 37,555 square kilometres of Indian territory in the western sector, most of it falling under the Union Territory of Ladakh, which primarily includes the 37,244 sq km of Aksai Chin, already under Chinese control.
The central sector, which mostly covers the state of Uttarakhand, has a 545 km-long boundary with China, where Beijing claims nearly 2,450 square km in different pockets.
Finally, on the eastern side, the border with China covers the state of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Here, China claims nearly 70,000 square kilometres of Indian territory, mostly in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing considers as part of Tibet.
The revealing figures have been put together by Lieutenant General Abhay Krishna, the former General Officer-Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of India’s Eastern Command during the Doklam standoff at the India, Bhutan and China trijunction in 2017. In his four-decade-long military career, Lieutenant General Abhay Krishna has also headed the South Western Command and the Central Command, before he retired from the military in 2019.
“The information I have is that Chinese PLA has entered 600 to 700 meters into our territory at Galwan valley. Chinese have also crossed into Finger Four. Normally, they did not enter Finger Four. There is a difference in perception between the two armies. India too has claimed Finger 2,” Stanzin said.
Stanzin noted that panic is palpable as there is a huge movement of men and machinery in the area. “Panic is in the air. There is a huge movement of the army in the area. Though there is no habitation near the area, yet the people living along the route are having jitters,” he said.
The closest habitation is 70 kilometres from the area where two armies are facing each other. “There are seven hamlets in the area. They come under two Panchayat Halqas which has a population of 1100 people. The last inhabited village is 70 km ahead of the place where both armies are facing each other in the Galwan valley. The aerial distance between the last inhabited village and the army deployment in Finger Four is around eight kilometres,” he said.
This is not for the first time that there has been a face-off between the Chinese and Indian army on the LAC in Ladakh. On the intervening night of 15 and 16 April, 2013, PLA crossed 19 kilometres deep inside the Indian Territory at Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector on LAC in Ladakh and set up the tented posts. The 20-day old standoff ended on 5 May, 2013, when troops from both sides withdrew to the pre-incursion positions on the line of actual control.
On 3 November, 2016, Indian and Chinese troops were again locked in a tense standoff along the Line of Actual Control in the Demchok sector of Ladakh after the People Liberation Army (PLA) objected to the construction of a developmental project.
Northern Command of the army is responsible for the security of borders with Pakistan and China as well as the counter militancy and counter-infiltration operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
The army is manning the 772 Km of Line of Control, 122 Km of Actual group position line (AGPL) at Siachin, and 646 Km of Line of actual control (LAC) with China. BSF has entrusted the job of guarding 192 Km of the International border (IB) with Pakistan.