Two Chinese choppers violate Indian airspace

PLA patrols made away with fuel meant for Indian troops

The MI series helicopters were reported to the nearby defence post by residents in this high altitude area living along Pangong lake, located in the lap of majestic hills, prompting the Army Aviation Corps to rush its Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

However, they could only find tell-tale signs left by the helicopters, which hovered over the Indian territory for nearly five minutes dropping the food material on June 21, this year, sources said.

When contacted, Army spokesperson for the Udhampur-based Northern Command said: “There was a report of a helicopter flying in the area south of Chumar, where India and China have differences in perception on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It was reported by grazers.”

A confidential defence document accessed by PTI shows that Chinese helicopters entered into the Indian air space along the Damchok area and Trig Heights in Ladakh and air-dropped canned food containing frozen pork and brinjal, which had passed the expiry date.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been crossing over into the Indian side in this region quite frequently with the maximum number of incursions reported in August.
Trig Heights, also known as Trade Junction, which connected Ladakh with Tibet in earlier days, is an area where Chinese patrols have frequented this year in June, July and August.

Twenty-six sorties
The Chinese army patrols have made 26 sorties in June, including two incursions by helicopters, and 21 in July. Chinese patrols entered the Indian Territory 26 times this month and walked away with petrol and kerosene meant for jawans of the border guarding forces. The Chinese army had made 223 attempts last year and left tell-tale signs.

The Army spokesperson, however, tried to downplay incursion attempts, saying “there are a few areas along the border where India and China have different perceptions of the LAC. Both sides patrol up to their respective perceptions of LAC.”

He added: “Due to perceived differences in the alignment of LAC, the Chinese patrol does transgress beyond our perception of LAC in a few areas. The pattern of transgression has remained similar over a long period of time.”

Incursions have taken place in eastern Ladakh and on the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake, located 168 km from here. The Chinese patrols come frequently on the north and south of this lake, whose 45 km are on the Indian side, while another 90 km on the Chinese side.

LAC talks
India and China have been engaged in talks over the Line of Actual Control and had exchanged maps in 2002. In the western sector (East Jammu and Kashmir), the Samar Lungpa area, between the Karakoram Pass and the Chipchap river, is contentious, with Chinese maps showing the LAC to be south of the Samar Lungpa.

This is the northernmost part of the border, far to the north of Leh. But while the Indo-Tibetan Border Police operates north of the line the Chinese claim to be the border, they remain south of the Lungpa. South of the Chipchap River are the Trig Heights, comprising points 5495 and 5459.

The Chinese troops frequently enter the area and, in fact, they have a name for Point 5459—Manshen Hill. The area, southeast of the Trig Heights, called Depsang Ridge, is also contentious. Differences were found when Chinese small-scale maps were interposed on large-scaled Indian ones.

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