March 12: In a fresh transgression in Ladakh sector, Chinese PLA troops entered almost 6 km deep inside Indian territory near the scenic Pangong lake area this week leading to a stand-off between security personnel of the two sides, according to security sources.
The incident occurred on March 8 when a platoon of at least 11 PLA men led by a Colonel-rank officer crossed over the imaginary Line of Actual Control (LAC) at ‘Finger VIII’ Sirjap-I area close to the Pangong lake, sources in the security establishment said today.
The Chinese soldiers entered in four vehicles–two light one medium and one heavy–from across the Thakung border post of India and reached 5.5 km deep inside Indian territory, the sources said.
The sources said the soldiers were soon “countered and engaged” by a patrol of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP) and they were locked in “eye-to-eye ball” confrontation for a few hours after which the situation got defused and the other side retreated.
The Army, which maintains that transgressions take place along the LAC due to different perception of the border, was not immediately available for comment.
Sources, however, said that the Chinese platoon was led by a Colonel-rank officer and it included two Majors.
According to reports, the Chinese side was well equipped while the ITBP men were also carrying weapons and equipment for a long range patrol of the area.
The situation along the banks of the 90 sq km Pangong lake, two-third of which is in China, has always remained volatile with Chinese troops being intercepted by Indian Army patrol several times after the three-week long stand-off in the Depsang plains of Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in May, 2013.
China has also managed to construct a road up to Finger-IV area which also falls under Sirijap area and is five-km deep into the LAC.