Army Chief General Bikram Singh briefed the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday on Chinese incursion in Eastern Ladakh.
“The CCS met and the Army Chief briefed us on the Ladakh situation,’’ Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who is also a member of the CCS, told journalists.
About 30- 40 Chinese troops from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) intruded into Indian territory in Eastern Ladakh’s Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector and established camps on April 15. According to Indian perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which remains disputed and un-demarcated, the Chinese incursion is nearly 19 km deep inside Indian territory.
Flag meeting unsuccessful
After three flag meetings between local commanders of the two sides and India’s efforts through diplomatic channels, China has not yet retreated from the DBO sector in Depsang plains. Indications are that the troops will stay put for many more days or even augment their strength gradually.
The Army Chief is learnt to have given a detailed situation report and the options before the government, during the nearly hour-long briefing. Defence Minister A.K. Antony, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde are the other members of the CCS, which is chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Chinese side has been demanding dismantling of infrastructure that had come up on the Indian side in Eastern Ladakh — in Fukche and Chumar as well as the DBO sector.
At the third flag meeting on Tuesday at Chushul, between Brigadier-level officers from the two sides, India insisted that the Chinese troops should withdraw completely from Indian territory.
May Day celebrated
Despite the border tensions and the two-week-old stand-off, Indian soldiers on Wednesday crossed over and celebrated May Day with their Chinese counterparts.