India refutes China's claim, says 'PLA troops fired in the air'; Beijing calls it 'serious military provocation'
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Indian Army on Tuesday categorically refuted China's claims of firing of shots by the Indian soldiers at the Line of Actual Control where the Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in stand-off for over three months.
The Army said that it were the PLA troops who fired shots in an attemto to intimidate Indian troops, adding that the its soldiers exercised constraint and did not cross the de facto border with China.
"In the instant case on 07 September, it was China's PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops. However, despite the grave provocation, own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner," the Indian Army said in a statement.
"While India is committed to disengagement and de-escalating situation on the LAC, China continues to undertake provocative activities to escalate. At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing," it added.
The Army said that the statement by PLA's Western Theatre Command claiming warning shots being fired by the Indian soldiers was "an attempt to mislead China's domestic and international audience".
It said that "our forces are committed to maintaining peace and tranquility and also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs."
Responding back on the statement by Indian Army, China's PLA said that the incident was a "serious military provocation", further warning India " to immediately stop dangerous moves".
"On 7 Sep, Indian troops illegally crossed LAC and entered south bank of Pangong Tso. Indian troops blatantly fired warning shots at our border patrolling troops who were there for consultation. Our troops were compelled to take measures to stabilise situation," China's Foreign Ministry said.
"India's behaviour violated agreements...It's serious military provocation. We've made representations through diplomatic & military channels asking them to immediately stop dangerous moves, withdraw people who crossed the line & discipline frontline troops," it added.
The statement by the Indian Army came after the People's Liberation Army accused the Indian troops of illegally crossing the border at the shore of the God Pao Mountain area and firing warning shots. It had also claimed that Chinese troops took "countermeasures" to stabilise the situation.
Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, a spokesperson of PLA's Western Theater Command, in a statement had alleged that Indian troops again illegally crossed the LAC and outrageously fired warning shots on Chinese border patrol soldiers who were about to negotiate.
Chinese troops were forced to take countermeasures to stabilize the situation, he said without elaborating.
The Indian troops crossed the LAC at the west section of the China-India border into the Shenpao mountain region near the south bank of Pangong lake, he alleged.
The fresh standoff comes just two days after defence ministers of both the agreed to defuse tensions along the India-China border in eastern Ladakh.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta