Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently made a two-pronged simultaneous incursion by sending its troops into Indian waters in the Pangong lake as well as five kilometres deep into Indian territory through the land route in the same area, according to reports.
Official sources said on Sunday that according to reports received by security agencies, Chinese boats entered into the Indian waters at the Pangong Lake nestled in the higher reaches of Ladakh on October 22.
These incursions were simultaneously backed by Chinese troops on the road built alongside the Pangong lake which took place in eastern Ladakh and on the northern bank of Pangong Lake, located 168km from Leh, the sources said.
However, alert troops of ITBP noticed the movement of Chinese troops and intercepted them at the imaginary line that is supposed to be the line of actual control (LAC) in the lake.
The ITBP soldiers also blocked the Chinese troops mounted on mountain terrain vehicles who were trying to cross over the LAC by road.
A banner drill, in which both sides wave banners claiming it to be their territory, was carried out which was followed by a face-off between the troops of the two sides.
However, Chinese troops had to return after the Indian troops neither allowed them to move their boats forward nor allowed the troops on road to move an inch further, the sources said.
Chinese troops had managed to enter upto Finger IV area in the region from where they were sent back. This area has been a bone of contention between India and China as both sides claim it to be a part of their territory.
When Indian side was trying to back its claim on the area during negotiations, the Chinese army constructed a metal-top road and claimed the area to be part of Aksai Chin area, the sources said.
China had constructed a road up to Finger-IV area which falls under Siri Jap area and is five km deep into the LAC, the sources said.
The simultaneous approach to enter Indian waters was seen as a move by the Chinese troops to put psychological pressure on the Indian troops who man the area.
The Chinese patrols used to come frequently from the northern and southern banks of this lake, whose 45km stretch is on the Indian side while another 90km is on the Chinese side.
Indians are armed with high-speed interceptor boats, bought from the US, which can accommodate nearly 15 soldiers and are equipped with radars, infra-red and GPS systems.
These boats are stated to be as good as the Chinese vessels and are used to conduct reconnaissance and area domination patrols.
The situation along the banks of the lake 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 last year.