The recent reports from the India-China border are rather disturbing. As per the records available with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), there has been a sudden spike in transgressions by China into Indian territory in October-November. The report comes two months after India and China agreed to disengage on the Doklam plateau in Bhutan. After a 73-day military standoff, the two countries decided to move back their troops from the faceoff site at the trijunction with Bhutan. As per the ITBP records, as many as 31 incidents of transgressions were recorded in October-November in primarily three sectors: Depsang Area, Trig Height and Thakung Post (Pangong Lake). As per the records, the first transgression took place in Ladakh sector on October 12, when the Chinese army entered Trig Height area by a vehicle at 5 am and first drove 2 km inside Indian territory. Soon after, later, they drove another 6 km. Some days later, the troops again entered 6 km into Indian territory, by boats this time, on the Pangong Lake on October 14 and 21.
Four transgressions were reported near Pangong Lake between October 14 to November 3, with People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops either coming in vehicles or boats. On October 31 and November 5, PLA personnel entered 19 km into Indian territory at Pangong Lake area. These transgressions were reported at 2.30 pm and 12.55 am respectively, as per the ITBP records. It must be noted that in many cases, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops entered as far as 20 km into Indian territory, according to the ITBP, deployed on the India-China border.
As per a report by The Indian Express, similar incidents of transgression were also reported in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh too. Sources said that on October 11, PLA soldiers are reported to have entered into the Indian territory. They stayed in Barahoti, an open pasture, for a while, before going back. Barahoti is a disputed area on the India-China border where frequent transgressions by the Chinese are reported. Similarly, transgressions were also reported in Dichu and Asaphila areas on November 1 and 2. A senior Home Ministry official said, “There is no need to be alarmed. Such incidents are regular. The Chinese troops come and leave. The problem will start if they camp at some place.” However, a senior Home Ministry officials said that they have asked their counterparts in the External Affairs and Defence ministries to take up the matter of such transgressions with Beijing.
Earlier this year, Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a standoff at Doklam for almost two-and-a-half months. Nearly 350 Indian soldiers had moved to the plateau on June 18 to stop the Chinese from constructing a motorable road from a turning point in the plateau to Jampheri ridge in Bhutan. The Chinese had also moved their troops such that the soldiers from two sides were in a faceoff situation about 150 m away. This standoff was a few metres away from the Indian military post.