The Indian Army has denied reports of a standoff with China at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh. Sources in the Army said on Wednesday that a group of Chinese civilians were prevented from building a road on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last week.
“There is no face-off at the site. In the whole incident, there was no direct contact between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” an Army source said.
Last week, a group of Chinese undertook track alignment activity about 1 km inside the LAC at Tuting.
Locals alert ITBP
This was noticed by some locals and they alerted the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), who informed the Army. On December 28, a joint team of the Army and the ITBP stopped the civilians and explained to them they were in Indian territory, following which they left.
China did not confirm whether its troops recently entered the border State with road construction machinery.
The Army source said the Chinese civilians left behind some civil construction equipment including two excavators. Some security personnel are currently at the site. “The equipment has to be returned,” the source said.
In all, there are a few hundred soldiers in the general area. The Chinese do not have any troops close to the LAC. Tuting is near the Siang river and officials said there were no differences of perception on the alignment of the LAC between the two countries in this area.
“The issue is being resolved through the established coordination mechanism between the two countries,” another Army source said.
There are regular transgressions across the LAC by China.