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No intrusion by Chinese soldiers in Ladakh's Demchok sector: Army chief Rawat

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 13-07-2019 18:57 IST | Created: 13-07-2019 18:57 IST
No intrusion by Chinese soldiers in Ladakh's Demchok sector: Army chief Rawat

Army chief General Bipin Rawat Saturday said there has been no intrusion by the Chinese in Ladakh's Demchok sector. "There is no intrusion," Rawat said on the sidelines of an event.

His statement comes amidst reports of Chinese soldiers crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last week after some Tibetans hoisted Tibetan flags on the occasion of Dalai Lama's birthday on July 6. The Army chief said both sides have different perspectives on the Line of Actual Control.

"There are gaps in between. So both sides patrol and come into each other's areas. Chinese come and patrol to their perceived LAC which we try and prevent. We try and attempt to reach out to LAC or based on the limit of patrolling given to us, we visit those areas," he said. South Block sources had on Friday said some 11 Chinese in civilian clothes arrived in two vehicles when Ladakhi villagers were celebrating Dalai Lama's birthday on July 6.

They then showed them banners and waited there for 30-40 minutes but did not cross the Line of Actual Control, they said. The Tibetans were celebrating the 84th birthday of the Dalai Lama.

"At times, there are celebrations that take place at the local level. Celebrations were going on our side by our Tibetans in the Demchok sector. Based on that, some Chinese also came to see what was happening," General Rawat said. When asked whether the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were present during the July 6 incident, he said security officials from both sides accompany civilians whenever they go the LAC.

"...when the civilians go forward, obviously there will be PLA and when our civilians go to LAC, the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) or the Army will accompany them. We are not going to allow the civilians to go the LAC without being monitored. So, both sides will monitor," he said. The matter was also raised in the flag meetings between the security officials of the two countries, the Army Chief said.

"Everything is normal. You need to dispel this myth that there has been any kind of intrusion or activity by the Chinese which is detrimental to our security," he said. "We have a very good working relationship with the Chinese. Anytime such things happen, we have the local commanders talking to each other. We are meeting regularly," the Army chief added.

India and China share a disputed border and the armies of the two countries were engaged in a stand-off for 73 days in 2017 in Doklam. PTI PR SRY


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