Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

India, China accuse each other of firing warning shots, escalating tension

New Delhi, India and China accused each other of indulging in a fresh skirmish at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, where troops fired warning shots in the air to scare and push back each other.

China accused Indian Army troops of having fired the warning shots. India, on the other hand, accused Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops of firing a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate the Indian Army troops.

The incident took place near Shenpao mountain close to the south bank of Pangong Tso (Lake) on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Indian Army in a statement said that China continues to “undertake provocative activities to escalate” the situation at the border and it was the Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops who “fired a few rounds in the air” in an attempt to intimidate Indian troops. At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing,” Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said.

The force stated that it is the Chinese People’s Liberation army that has been “blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at the military, diplomatic and political level is in progress.

“In the instant case on September 7, 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, the PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops,” Colonel Aman said.

However, despite the grave provocation, Indian troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner, the force stated.

It also stated: “The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility, however, it is also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs. The statement from the Western Theatre Command is an attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience.”

On Monday, China issued a statement that the Indian Army “blatantly fired threats” to the patrol personnel of the Chinese border guards who had made representation, and the Chinese border guards were forced to take “countermeasures to stabilise the situation on the ground.

“India’s actions seriously violated the relevant agreements and the agreements between China and India, pushing up regional tensions and easily causing misunderstandings and misjudgments,” said Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theater Command, Colonel Zhang Shuili in a statement.

The statement said it is serious military provocation and is of very bad nature.”We request the Indian side to immediately stop dangerous actions, immediately withdraw cross-line personnel, strictly restrain front-line troops, and strictly investigate and punish personnel who fired shots to ensure that similar incidents do not occur again,” said Colonel Shuili.

India and China are engaged in a four-month-long standoff at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.

On June 15, at least 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.

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