Misadventure Thwarted

In yet another sharp escalation in the ongoing military confrontation in eastern Ladakh since early-May, Indian soldiers thwarted an attempt by Chinese troops to occupy some heights near the southern bank of Pangong Tso on Saturday night.

Swift Action

The "provocative military movements" by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) aimed at seizing the heights in the Chushul sector, broadly between Pangong Tso and Spanggur Gap, were physically blocked by the swift deployment of Indian troops in the region at an altitude of around 15,000-feet.
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Special Frontier Force

The Army said there were no violent clashes in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, as were witnessed during the extended bloody skirmish in the Galwan Valley on June 15. But some sources said there were physical scuffles between the rival soldiers during the incident. The Indian troops involved in the action, incidentally, included commandos from the covert Special Frontier Force, which recruits from among the Tibetans exiled in India. (Representative Image)

Keeping China At Bay

If the Indian Army had not undertaken the pro-active military manoeuvre, it would have been presented with a fait accompli like on the northern bank of Pangong Tso, Gogra and Depsang areas, from where the PLA has refused to withdraw from what India considers its territory.

New Fronts

There is also little doubt that the PLA attempts to open a new front on Saturday, in keeping with its strategy to push the LAC westwards, was sanctioned by the top Chinese politico-military hierarchy, much like the multiple intrusions deep into Indian territory in early-May. "Military commanders at the tactical level cannot take such decisions," said another officer.

Quid Pro Quo

Around 100 PLA soldiers, with equipment to set up camps, were also spotted below the 'Black Top Hill', which in turn led the Indian Army's to respond in a "quid pro quo" manner. The PLA is obviously upset. It accused the Indian troops of "undermining" the consensus reached at the multi-level talks by "illegally" crossing the LAC to "seriously violate" China's territorial sovereignty.