By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 4: Indian troops have reportedly pushed back a team of Chinese road construction workers from over a kilometer into the Indian side of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) last week, seizing equipment and manning the area with troops from Indian Army and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Indian government sources on Wednesday said that the incident of incursion by China happened on Dec. 26 and thereafter intercepted by Indian security personnel near Bising village under Tuting subdivision. Heavy construction equipment seized include excavators and other machineries which have been made inoperable, and kept on the Indian side of the LAC. Indian forces created a boulder barricade at the freshly made road of 12-feet wide and nearly a 1-km long track inside Indian territory.
While Indian authorities played down the incident, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he is unaware of the same and added that Beijing had "never acknowledged the existence of so-called Arunachal Pradesh."
The two Asian giants have tested each other’s resolve in the 73-day Doklam standoff in August at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction where troops from the either side geared for confrontation, only to be pulled back after diplomatic talks.
While Chinese transgressions along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control from border states Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh is not a new occurrence, sources say that Chinese movements in winter is fresh.
Indian forces are well entrenched in Arunachal with as many as four infantry divisions of over 40,000 soldiers and seven operational advanced landing grounds for the Indian Air Force at Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Along, Ziro and Tuting capable of providing landing for the massive IAF’s C-17 Globe master aircraft, kept on high alert in the event of war with China.