China has yet again shown that is a step ahead of India when it comes to applying pressure tactics. Of the numerous intrusions it has made into the Ladahk sector in North India, the latest one leaves many questions to be answered.
In a fresh incident, the People’s Liberation Army has made deep inroads into eastern Ladahk and has set up a tented post in Daulat Beg Oldi. However, the Indian army officials are not too disturbed by the happenings. According to a senior army official posted in this region, army patrols often face such problems in Ladahk sector and every time the issue is resolved amicably. Army sources point out that the problem arises due to different perception that India and China hold about the line of control and that the issue should not be blown out of perception.
Set border mechanisms have been established for dealing with such eventualities and this time too the problem would be resolved. Reports emerging from the area suggested that a platoon contingent comprising of about 50 PLA troops had come up to 10 Km inside the Indian territory at Burthe which is a part of Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Eastern Ladahk. The area lies at an altitude of over 17,000 feet and the incident occurred on the night of April 15th.
Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) the Indian force that mans the region reacted immediately and set up a post at a distance of approximately 300 meters from the Chinese position. ITBP on its part has asked for a flag meeting with China but the offer has received no response from Chinese side so far.
An Infantry Regiment of Indian Army, the Ladahk Scouts that mostly comprises of local troops and specializes in mountain warfare has moved into the area and the situation in the region is being described as critical.
China has every now and then created problems for Indian troops in the region and not withstanding the political posture adopted by its leadership, their troops continue with such activities on a regular basis. This hard stand adopted by Chinese troops is a part of the mind game that PLA has been indulging in since long. Earlier too, its troops had scribbled some signs in Chinese on rocks deep inside Ladahk and its troops had made a trip to Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh which happens to border the Chinese territory.
Daulat Beg Oldi historically is an old camping site and lies on ancient trade route that connects Ladahk with Yarkand in Xinjiang in China. The landing grounds in the region had recently been activated by Indian army sensing the importance of the region from security point of view. China has been developing its road and rail network in its region and it is high time that Indian establishment wakes to the new reality that has been developing in the Ladahk sector. Not having a clear defence policy to deal with such issues results in China taking undue advantage every time and make deep inroads into the Indian Territory.