Kibithu:Indicating fresh friction, the Chinese military strongly protested against the Indian Army’s “transgression” into the strategically sensitive Asaphila area along the disputed border in Arunachal Pradesh, but the Indian side roundly rejected the complaint.
Official sources said the Chinese side raised the issue at a ‘Border Personnel Meeting’ (BPM) here on March 15 but the Indian Army dismissed it, saying that the area in the upper Subansiri region of Arunachal belonged to India and it had regularly been carrying out patrols.
Sources said the Chinese side called India’s patrolling in the area a “transgression” and the Indian Army objected to the terminology. “China’s protest is surprising,” said a source, adding there were several instances of Chinese intrusions in the area, which had been taken up seriously in the past.
Under the BPM mechanism, the two sides can register their protest over any incident of transgression as there are varying perceptions about the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The delegation of China’s People’s Liberation Army specifically mentioned extensive patrolling in Asaphila by Indian troops, saying such “violations” may escalate tensions.
Rejecting the Chinese protest, the Indian side said its troops were aware of the alignment of the LAC and that the Army would continue to carry out patrols up to the LAC. The Chinese military specifically mentioned large-scale Indian patrolling in Asaphila near Fishtail 1 on December 21, 22 and 23 last.
The Indian Army has reportedly increased war-fighting drills following the Doklam standoff.