Surveillance camera at South Bank of Pangong Tso caught Chinese movement, says govt. official

It helped thwart move to alter status quo near Pangong Tso, says official

September 01, 2020 10:20 pm | Updated September 02, 2020 08:44 am IST - New Delhi

Shifting gears: An Army convoy moving on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer on Tuesday.

Shifting gears: An Army convoy moving on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer on Tuesday.

A surveillance camera installed at South Bank of Pangong Tso helped the Indian Army thwart an aggressive move by the Chinese troops to alter the status quo in the area on the night of August 29 and 30, a senior government official told The Hindu .

The official said mobilisation and movement of troops could be detected from a distance in the area due to the powerful surveillance equipment.

Also read: Ladakh face-off | Status quo at Pangong Tso has been changed, says Colonel Dinny (retd.)

PLA plan foiled

On Monday, the Army said in a statement that it pre-empted the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) activity on the Southern Bank of the Pangong Tso (lake), undertook measures to strengthen its positions and “thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground.”

Listen: India-China tensions | What is the situation currently at Pangong Tso? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

The official said that since April-May, when the Chinese PLA amassed huge troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, no dispute was reported in the South Bank of Pangong Tso.

“After the Chinese movement was caught on camera, the Indian troops mobilised and stopped them from entering India’s perception of the LAC. They had enough time to prepare,” said the official. The Hindu could not confirm when the equipment was installed.

The official said that China also has a similar equipment on its side.

Also read: No violation of air space at Pangong Tso lake: IAF

India and China have held multiple rounds of military and diplomatic-level talks to end the standoff at the undefined LAC.

Earlier, a document uploaded on the Ministry of Defence’s website on August 5 and later deleted said, “Chinese aggression has been increasing along the LAC, and more particularly in Galwan valley, since May 5. The Chinese side transgressed in the areas of Kurang Nala, Gogra and north bank of Pangong Tso on May 17-18.”

Also read: Indian, Chinese troops face off in Eastern Ladakh, Sikkim

Twenty soldiers were killed on June 15 in Galwan in violent clashes with the Chinese PLA. India and China held the first round of Corps Commander–level talks on June 6, but there has been no restoration of status quo ante since.

Chinese ingress

Latest assessment by intelligence agencies shows that at Galwan junction, where the June 15 clashes were reported, the Chinese PLA are still within 800 metres of India’s perception of LAC as against 5 kilometres initially. The Chinese moved back after a series of dialogues, including the Special Representatives talks on July 5.

At Galwan Valley and Gogra, Chinese troops are 2 km and 1 km inside respectively. The ingress is 8 kilometres in the Finger area of North Bank of Pangong Tso.

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