As if the intrusion in Daulat Beg Oldi sector was not enough, China has violated the Indian airspace this time. In the latest incident, two Chinese military helicopters made a sortie to Chumar, a strategic location several hundreds of kilometers southeast of Leh. This adds fuel to the fire and with Chinese troops refusing to budge from their occupied position in Daulat Beg Oldi sector, the latest incident can turn into a major controversy.
Two Chinese choppers had reportedly entered the Indian airspace and had dropped food cans, cigarettes and some notes written in the local language. China has resorted to such tactics on previous occasions too but this time things are different.
This incident occurred almost five days after a platoon of Chinese troops had established their base in Daulat Beg Oldi, which as per the Line of Actual Control is 10 Km inside the Indian Territory. Chumar lies about 300 Km from Leh and provides alternative route to the Aksai Chin region. This region has been under illegal Chinese occupation, since long.
Indo Tibetan Border Force has reportedly increased its presence in the area and Army is keeping a keen watch on the developments. Last year, too Chinese troops had come over to Chumar and some of its soldiers had reportedly destroyed old Indian army bunkers in the region.
Meanwhile China has refused to accept that any of its troops had intruded into the area. This is an old rhetoric that China resorts to, every time India raises its concern on the issue. Hectic political activities are also on and Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir has expressed his deep anguish and concern over the reported intrusion and the chopper sorties. He has reportedly asked the central government to send a strong signal on its part to both Pakistan and China that such pressure tactics will not be tolerated and India deserves all the right to react.
The issue needs to be raised at suitable platform as summoning the Chinese high commissioner will not serve any issue. China has always denied such allegations and even with visual shots of the intrusion being beamed on National television, the Chinese government is not ready to accept that any such incident has taken place.
The reasons for the Chinese aggressive stand can well be judged. India has never reacted with force to any Chinese misadventure in the region and the fear psychosis of the defeat in 1962 war between India and China still weights on the Indian establishment’s mind. Indian government should wake up to the reality and trust its armed forces. Things are different in present times and Indian Army has become professional and committed, as it always was. The victory in Kargil war is a sign enough that the country cannot be taken lightly by anyone, be it China or Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Central government agencies are exploring all the options and a strong signal need indeed be sent across to China that it should mend its ways.