By Tenzin Sangmo
New Delhi, September 12 - A fresh Chinese incursion came calling on Indian borders by water and land by People's Liberation Army (PLA) patrols on the north bank of the Indian side of Pangong Tso lake and Trig Heights in Eastern Ladakh earlier this month. Situated at a height of about 4,250 m, Pangong Tso runs along 134 kms and extends from India to Tibet, two thirds of which is controlled by China. The Indian side claims Chinese troops crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at the lake September 2.
Referring to the cross over at Trig Heights the following day, an unnamed source told Times of India, the country's leading daily, "The patrol (vehicle mounted) was on our side for quite some time before it went back. PLA has really stepped up incursions into our side in eastern Ladakh region this year, with well over 100 transgressions being recorded there since January."
After the Indo-Pakistan Kargil conflict in 1999, Pangong Tso has become a sensitive area with China even constructing a direct track up to the southern bank in a blatant attempt to support Pakistan.
Chinese movements have been increasingly patronizing at Indian borders in all three sectors- western (Ladakh), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal) and eastern (Sikkim and Arunachal) over the years. India has recorded well over 140 illegal cross-overs by Chinese patrols into Indian areas last year. Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A. K. Antony have said that such 'incidents' occur due to 'different perceptions' of the Line of Actual Control by those involved.