The Indian Army has refuted reports of a patrol party being detained by the Chinese forces in Ladakh, calling them “inaccurate”. This comes amid reports that an Indian patrol party comprising Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel was detained by the Chinese forces last week after the clashes in Ladakh.
Sources in the Indian Army have said that the reports on detention are inaccurate, however, there has been no official denial.
“It was brief detention. They were released soon and weapons were also handed back,” a source said.
Earlier this month, several Indian and Chinese troops sustained injuries after they engaged in a fist-fight in the Naku La sector of North Sikkim on Saturday. The incident happened after a face-off, but the matter was resolved soon, said sources.
It was a road construction by India that had triggered the recent face-off in Ladakh leading to a violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops which left many injured on both sides earlier this month.
As per sources, the Chinese had been objecting to a critical road construction project north of Pangong Tso (lake) that became a flashpoint. The contentious road was well within the Indian territory and far from the Chinese claim, the sources added.
The Chinese military is fast increasing its troops in areas around Pangong Tso lake and Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, sending a clear signal that it was not ready to end its confrontation with the Indian Army anytime soon, people familiar with the situation in the disputed region said.
The Chinese side has particularly bolstered its presence in the Galwan Valley, erecting around 100 tents in the last two weeks and bringing in machinery for possible construction of bunkers, notwithstanding the stiff protest by Indian troops, they said.
In the midst of the escalating tension, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane paid a quiet visit to the headquarters of 14 Corps in Leh on Friday and reviewed with the top commanders the overall security scenario in the region including in the disputed areas along the LAC, the de-facto border between India and China.
Military sources said the Indian Army has also been matching up to the Chinese build-up in both Pangong Tso lake and Galwan Valley and that it is in a much advantageous position in certain other sensitive areas in the region.