Two incidents of skirmishes between Indian, Chinese troops along LAC come to light

NEW DELHI — At least two previously unknown incidents of skirmishes between the Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have come to light with citations for gallantry awards conferred on Indian Army personnel mentioning them.

The citations, read out at an investiture ceremony by the Army’s Western Command last week, provided brief details of how the Indian troops responded firmly to the aggressive behaviour by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers along the LAC.

The Army’s Western Command, which has its headquarters in Chandimandir, had uploaded a video of the January 13 ceremony featuring the commentary on the gallantry award on its YouTube channel but deactivated it on Monday.

The incidents mentioned in the citations had taken place between September 2021 and November 2022.

There was no immediate comment on the matter by the Army.

The Indian Army has been maintaining a very high level of combat readiness along the 3,488 km-long LAC following the clashes in Galwan Valley in June 2020.

There were multiple incidents of skirmishes along the LAC between the Indian and Chinese troops in the last three-and-a-half years following the eruption of the eastern Ladakh border row in May 2020.

The Chinese troops attempted transgression in the Tawang sector of the LAC as well.

On December 9, 2022, PLA troops tried to transgress the LAC in the Yangtse area of Tawang Sector and unilaterally changed the status quo, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Parliament four days after the incident.

Singh said the Chinese attempt was contested by the Indian troops in a firm and resolute manner.

Sources said several Indian Army personnel who were part of the team that responded firmly to the attempted Chinese transgression were also conferred gallantry awards at the investiture ceremony.

“The ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts,” Singh said on December 13 that year.

The scuffle led to injuries to a few personnel on both sides, he said.

“I would like to assure this House that our forces are committed to protecting our territorial integrity and will continue to thwart any attempt made on it. I am confident that this entire House will stand united in supporting our soldiers in their brave effort,” Singh said. — (PTI)