Army officers of India and China met on Wednesday in Leh’s Chusul sector, a day after border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of Pangong lake in Ladakh. Official sources said yesterday’s incident at Pangong and ways to maintain peace and tranquility along the Sino-India border in Ladakh were discussed at length at the border personnel meeting (BPM). Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side in two areas– Finger Four and Finger Five– twice between 6 am and 9 am yesterday. But on both the occasions their attempts were thwarted by alert Indian troops. After Chinese troopers found their path blocked by ITBP personnel who formed a human chain, they began hurling stones, prompting a swift retaliation by Indian border guards. Personnel from both sides received minor injuries and the situation was brought under control after the customary banner drill under which both sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective positions. The Chinese troops had managed to enter up to Finger Four area in the region from where they were sent back. This area has been a bone of contention between India and China as both claim it to be a part of their territory. When asked about yesterday’s incident in Ladakh, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters, “This is not a subject on which the government makes a comment on.”
The sources said today’s BPM was pre-scheduled and the issues discussed included strengthening of existing mechanism for maintaining peace and tranquility along the border. Brigadier ranked officers of both sides attended the meeting. Two-thirds of the Pangong Lake are controlled by China while one-third of it is controlled by India.
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The incidents in Ladakh took place amid a face off between Indian and Chinese armies in Dokalam in India-Bhutan- China trijunction which has entered the third month. Official sources said notwithstanding the standoff, sweets were exchanged between the Indian Army and PLA troops in multiple border locations including in Dokalam. Exchange of sweets on Independence Day and Republic Day has been a tradition for last several years.