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In Chumar,Indian and Chinese troops were in face-to-face situation

Chinese had 'transgressed' into Indian territory on June 17.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
July 12, 2013 3:33:45 am

Days after the Army termed the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh’s Chumar area as “minor”,New Delhi on Thursday said for the first time that the Indian and Chinese troops were in a “face-to-face” situation after the Chinese had “transgressed” into Indian territory on June 17 and removed surveillance camera which were subsequently returned.

The last “face-to-face” situation was the 21-day standoff in the remote Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Depsang Valley from April 15.

Noting that there were some “sensitivities” involved on the Chinese side given the strategic advantage to India in Chumar,official sources said,“The Chinese patrol did transgress and there was a face-to-face with the Indian patrol… after which the Chinese patrol went back to their bases.”

The Army had termed this incursion as “minor” in which a defunct surveillance camera set up by the Indian side was dismantled but returned days later at a flag meeting. A defence ministry official had said earlier this week,“It is a minor incident. There are several hundred cases of ‘transgressions’ on the border that is disputed between the two sides.”

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While in the past several years,there have been regular transgressions from both sides to assert authority over the disputed border,things took an ugly turn in April after a temporary camp was set up by Chinese troops in the disputed land. The matter was resolved after the Indian side agreed to destroy certain fortifications,leading to the Chinese withdrawal.

There has now been a renewed emphasis from both sides to avoid such incidents and the matter was discussed in detail during Defence Minister AK Antony’s visit to Beijing last week. In fact,the two sides have agreed to increase the exchange of officers and soldiers of the armed forces to increase communication and dialogue.

Government sources also said the discussions on Border Defence Cooperation Agreement was “work in progress” and refused the divulge any details.

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