Indian Army took "appropriate measures" in response to Chinese PLA's build-ups in the middle and eastern sectors, amid continuing stand-off in western sector

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has deployed additional troops near Lipulekh Pass, which has been at the centre of Nepal-India territorial dispute and is also close to the communist country’s boundary with its two South Asian neighbours.

After Beijing nudged Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s government in Kathmandu to ratchet up India-Nepal dispute over the Lipulekh Pass and the adjoining areas, the PLA’s move to deploy additional troops near the three-nation-boundary point is apparently aimed at sending out a message to New Delhi.

It came even as the three-month-long military stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto boundary between India and China – has not yet been completely resolved, with the mutually agreed process of withdrawal of troops from the face-off scenes being stalled due to the reluctance of the PLA to vacate the areas its soldiers occupied over the past few weeks on the northern bank of the Pangong Tso (lake) in eastern Ladakh.

A source in New Delhi told the DH that the Indian Army too had moved troops in “adequate numbers” to reinforce its posts closer to the Lipulekh Pass – in response to the build-up by the Chinese PLA.

The source said that the Indian Army had also taken “appropriate measures” in view of the Chinese PLA’s build-up in the middle sector and eastern sector of the disputed boundary between the two nations, adjacent to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh of India.

Just days after the stand-off between Indian Army and the Chinese PLA along the western sector of the disputed boundary between the two nations started in early May, Oli Government in Kathmandu protested against a new 80-kilometre-long road New Delhi built from Dharchula in Uttarakhand to the Lipulekh Pass – an India-Nepal-China tri-junction boundary point. Kathmandu alleged that the road passed through Nepal, although the claim was dismissed by India. New Delhi suspects that Beijing had a role in nudging Kathmandu to ratchet up Nepal-India territorial dispute, at a time when the Chinese PLA’s transgression across the LAC in the western sector and the Indian Army’s response to it already drew international attention to the communist country’s expansionist moves.

The Oli Government went ahead, published a new map, which showed nearly 400 sq kms of India’s areas in Kalapani, Lipulekh Pass and Limpiyadhura as part of Nepal. It also got the Nepalese Parliament to amend by the country’s Constitution to endorse the new map.

Kathmandu now decided to send its new map to the United Nations, seeking international recognition. The Oli Government is also planning to send it to Google, asking that the Google Map should now depict new inclusions Lipulekh Pass and the adjoining areas as part of Nepal.

“We are soon delivering the revised map incorporating Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura to the international community,” Nepal’s Minister for Land Management, Padma Aryal, was quoted by myRepublica, a news portal of the neighbouring country.

Nepal also over the past few weeks deployed its armed police personnel in four new border outposts it set up along its boundary with India.