A day after Indian and Chinese army officers held a meeting in Leh – after Indian border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter the territory along the banks of Pangong lake in Ladakh – a Times of India report said that there will be more “shallow intrusions” or “needling probes” by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Quoting defence sources, the report said that it is “unlikely” that the PLA will make a move near the Doklam tri-junction since Indian troops have already been placed there. But a source told TOI that the PLA may “try something in eastern Ladakh… or eastern Arunachal Pradesh or Lipulekh pass and Barahoti (Uttarakhand)”.
Adding that Indian troops are ready for a “long haul”, the source said that the “needling” along the 4,057-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the PLA’s “game-plan” to add pressure on India to withdraw troops from Doklam before November-December.
Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side in two areas – Finger Four and Finger Five – twice between 6 am and 9 am on 16 August. But on both the occasions their attempts were thwarted by alert Indian troops.
After Chinese troopers found their path blocked by ITBP personnel who formed a human chain, they began hurling stones, prompting a swift retaliation by Indian border guards.
Personnel from both sides received minor injuries and the situation was brought under control after the customary banner drill under which both sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective positions.
The Finger Four area has been a bone of contention between India and China as both claim it to be a part of their territory.
(With inputs from PTI.)