Indian Army rejects reports about patrol party being detained by Chinese forces in Ladakh

NEW DELHI, May 24 (Agencies): Rejecting reports about the detention of a joint patrol party detained by the Chinese forces in Ladakh, the Indian Army sources on Sunday said that these were “inaccurate”.

It was claimed that an Indian patrol party comprising Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel were detained by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) last week after skirmishes in Ladakh near the Line of Actual Control. Reports claimed that the Indian patrol party was briefly detained and their firearms snatched by the Chinese and they were only released after talks between both sides at the local level.

Chinese forces were alleged to have intruded the Indian territory and were also carrying out aggressive patrols with motorboats in the Pangong lake. On this, the Indian Army sources maintained that the reports on detention are inaccurate.

The Ministry of External Affairs had last week said the Chinese side is “hindering India’s normal patrolling patterns” after China alleged that the Indian side had tried to build a structure in the Galwan Valley. The location of present India-China face-off is in Galwan Valley, in China-occupied-Ladakh.

The MEA explained, “Any suggestion that Indian troops had undertaken activity across the LAC in the Western Sector or the Sikkim sector is not accurate” and the “Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the Line of Actual Control in the India-China border areas and abide by it scrupulously. “

Earlier this month, speaking on India-China Faceoffs in Ladakh and Sikkim, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said, “I would rather say it is face-offs and these faces-offs have been happening in the past also, nothing new about it.”

While explaining “different perceptions on where the Line of Actual Control (LAC) runs in these areas”, Army Chief said, ”we patrol up to where we believe the LAC is, PLA comes were they think the LAC comes. When we come face-to-face, when we come to the same place at the same time, that is when such face-offs occur.”

Amid tension at the Line of Actual Control, both the armies have increased deployment of men and assets at the forward locations. Both are on high alert on the forward locations where tensions and skirmishes took place.

The Indian Army has clarified that they will not allow any kind of Chinese transgression in India territory and would patrol in those areas. The PLA has been clashing with Indian forces on patrol after entering the Indian side.On Friday, General Manoj Mukund Naravane visited Leh, the headquarters of 14 Corps in Ladakh, and reviewed deployment of forces along the Line of Actual Control with China.

He held a meeting with Northern Command chief Lieutenant General Y K Joshi and 14 Corps Commander Lieutenant General Harinder Singh and other officers to know the ground situation on the forward locations along the Line of Actual Control. Late in the day, he returned to Delhi.

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