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No violation of air space at Pangong Tso lake: IAF

Pangong Tso lake.

Pangong Tso lake.  

Helicopters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came close to the border during the face-off with the Indian Army near Pangong Tso lake in Eastern Ladakh last week, but there was no air space violation on either side, Indian Air Force (IAF) sources said on Tuesday.

Separately, Army spokesperson Col. Aman Anand said there was no ongoing face-off at the Pangong Tso lake or any “build up of armed troops in the area.”

“There was no border violation on either side. IAF SU-30MKI fighters were airborne in Ladakh on routine flying and were not scrambled in response to the helicopters,” IAF sources said.

Locally resolved

Stating that incidents of face-off and aggressive behaviour occur on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Col. Anand said patrols disengage after local level interaction and dialogue.

“Temporary and short duration face-offs occur as boundary is not resolved. Troops resolve such incidents mutually as per established protocols,” he said in response to reports of an ongoing stand-off at the site.

There were two incidents of face-off between Indian and Chinese troops last week which resulted in injuries to several soldiers on both sides. The first incident occurred on May 5 near Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh while the second face-off occurred on May 9 at Naku La in Sikkim.

Army sources stated that the face-off at Pangong Tso occurred on the intervening night of May 5 as patrol teams came across each other and was resolved by the morning of May 6. Pangong Tso has seen such several incidents in the past including in 2017 and in 2019.

Aircraft restricted

As per existing agreements between India and China, operation of fighter aircraft and armed helicopters is restricted to a distance from the LAC. According to the ‘Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the LAC in India-China Border Area’ of 1996, “combat aircraft (to include fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, military trainer, armed helicopter and other armed aircraft) shall not fly within 10 km of the LAC.”

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 8:31:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/chinese-helicopters-spotted-along-sino-india-border-in-eastern-ladakh-sources/article31566354.ece

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