press trust of india
New Delhi, 21 July
Riding on horses and ponies, around 50 Chinese soldiers intruded into the Indian territory of Chumar in Ladakh on 16 July staking their claim over the area.
The Chinese troops started their incursion in the Chumar area on the evening of 16 July and they remained in the Indian area till the morning of 17 July, sources said.
Army sources confirmed the incursion, saying that Indian troops intercepted the PLA patrol in the Chumar area and after the usual banner drill between the two sides, the PLA patrol went back into their territory. Sources said the intruding Chinese soldiers asked the Indian troops to vacate the area, claiming that they were in Chinese territory.
The incursion by Chinese land forces comes soon after its two helicopters violated Indian air space on 11 July in the Chumar sector.
In the same area, PLA troops had intruded and taken away an Indian surveillance camera on 17 June.
The latest incursion took place on the day that the Cabinet Committee on Security gave approval for the creation of a 50,000-strong Mountain Strike Corps along the border with China.
The frequency of such incidents increased around the time Defence Minister A K Antony went to China earlier this month and the two countries discussed measures to enhance peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control between them. Chumar, located 300 km from Leh, has always been an area of discomfort for the Chinese as this is the only area along the China-India border where they do not have any direct access to the LAC. India and China have been working towards signing a border pact to maintain peace along the LAC where a number of incursion incidents have been observed in recent months.