Islamabad, May 24 (KMS): The stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh appeared to be turning serious with some reports suggesting that China is building bunkers at two places to prevent Indian troops from patrolling the disputed areas.

The two places are in the Galwan region and Pangong Tso, 110 km apart.

The Chinese army, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has particularly bolstered its presence in the Galwan Valley, erecting around 100 tents in the last two weeks and bringing in heavy equipment for construction of bunkers, notwithstanding the stiff protest by Indian troops.

As per to reports, a large number of Chinese troops entered territory claimed by India at four locations including Patrol Point 14 (PP14) and Gogra post.

This is not a usual confrontation between patrolling parties from two sides who usually disengage after short face-offs.

In Pangong Tso too, the Chinese army is reported to be building bunkers in a disputed area to stop Indian troops from patrolling the area.

The Chinese army has also brought in additional boats to patrol the Pangong Tso river to build pressure on the Indian troops. Indian Army also is using boats to patrol the river.

As per reports the Indian Army has been matching up to the Chinese build-up in both Pangong Tso lake and Galwan Valley. The Indian troops are also resorting to “aggressive patrolling” in several sensitive areas including Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldi.

Indian Army Chief, General MM Naravane, visited Leh on Friday to review the situation with the field commanders. However, he didn’t visit forward areas.

The soldiers from the two sides were involved in scuffles on at least two occasions in Eastern Ladakh in the last one week. It is learnt that the Chinese army forcefully stopped movement of Indian troops on several occasions when they were carrying out patrolling in Pangong Tso lake area this week.

There were reports that last week Chinese troops detained and released Indian soldiers in Ladakh. However, the Indian Army denied that any patrol party was detained by the Chinese soldiers in Ladakh.

Earlier this month in two separate incidents, Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in fist fights and stone-pelting in Sikkim and the northern bank of the Pangong Tso. However, India downplayed these two faceoffs, saying that incidents of aggressive behaviour occur on the LAC and patrols normally disengage after local interaction and dialogue.

The situation in Eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on the evening of May 5 which spilled over to the next day before the two sides agreed to “disengage” following a meeting at the level of local commanders.

On May 5, around 250 Indian and Chinese army personnel clashed with iron rods, sticks, and even resorted to stone-pelting in the Pangong Tso lake area in which soldiers on both sides sustained injuries.

In a separate incident, nearly 150 Indian and Chinese military personnel were engaged in a face-off near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector on May 9. At least 10 soldiers from both sides sustained injuries.

The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam tri-junction in 2017 which even triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.

China has been critical of India’s reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, and has particularly criticised New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China lays claim over several parts of Ladakh.

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