India halts bunker construction along LAC in Ladakh

Waiting For Green Signal From Government: Army


Srinagar, Apr 30: India has reportedly stopped construction of bunkers in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Leh, Ladakh as Army maintains that face-off with China continues in the area. They said the troops are waiting for green signal from the Government to resume construction of bunkers in the area.
More than a platoon-strength contingent of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has come 19 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe area in DBO sector, on the night of April 15 and established tented posts there.
DBO is a strategically important position from the Army’s point of view as it provides access to the troops in monitoring the activities of Chinese and Pakistani armies along the Karakoram Highway besides being an access point to Aksai Chin, an area under Chinese control.
A senior Army official monitoring the developments told Greater Kashmir on condition of anonymity that the construction of bunkers and erection of fence on the other side of Phuktsey has been stopped. “But China insists that some bunkers constructed by India at a key vantage point in the area should be completely dismantled,” he said.
The official said that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are continuously monitoring the situation. “Situation is being monitored on hourly basis. UAVs are sending pictures and movement of PLA troops in the area,” he said.
The official declined to disclose the exact number of PLA troops present in DBO area. “So far some tents have been erected in the area by PLA troops and they have recently added two more vehicles to their fleet. Now the number of vehicles with PLA is four,” he said adding that Molosser dogs have also been witnessed making rounds in the area.
Udhampur based defence spokesman, Rajesh Kalia told Greater Kashmir that the face-off continues. “No further details,” he said.
However, senior Army officials said they are waiting for orders from the Government on future course of action.  “There is no sign of withdrawal by China,” senior Army official said adding that they held two flag meetings with Chinese counterparts. “They want to get the Indian bunkers completely dismantled in the area,” he said.
The Army official said though the Army has been kept on standby, so that it can be rushed to the area in case of any eventuality, “but we are waiting for the Government response as Defence and External Affairs Ministries are actively pursuing the issue,” he said.
The army officer said the troops along LAC in Leh have been put on alert and additional forces have been deployed on the borders.  “Particularly, in Kargil we don’t want to take any chance. We have fought there with Pakistan in 1999,” he said and added that additional troops have been sent to various areas along LoC including Drass, Mushkov valley, Kaksar, Batalik and Turtuk sectors.

PTI ADDS FROM NEW DELHI: India and China today held their third flag meeting in Chushul in Ladakh to resolve the issue of incursion by Chinese troops 19 km inside in Daulat Beg Oldi but the stand-off between the two sides continues.
The meeting between Brigadier-level officers from the two sides began at 1100 hours and continued for more than three hours but failed to end the stand-off, sources said here.
The Chinese side remained firm on its demand that India should dismantle its infrastructure developed in Eastern Ladakh which includes some newly-constructed bunkers at key vantage points and roads constructed close to the Indian perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), they said.
In the meeting, India also made its stand clear that there should be an unconditional withdrawal of Chinese troops from the Indian territory as per the agreements signed between the two sides on earlier occasions, they said.
At the Unified Commanders' Conference also, Defence Minister A K Antony took a tough stand on the issue saying that India was not to be blamed for the incursions as it was "not one of our creation".
He emphasized that India would take every possible step to safeguard its interest in the area.
The sources also said that the Chinese troops are still maintaining their tents and troops.
The situation was also discussed at length during a security review meeting Antony had with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and the three Services chiefs.
The two earlier meetings on the issue between the two sides had failed to yield any outcome and the Chinese soldiers have even started to increase their presence in the area by erecting new tents and continue to get supplies by trucks from their unit 25 km from the face-off point.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 May 2013 00:00:00 IST

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