Itanagar/New Delhi: In yet another face-off with Indian Army similar to the one in Ladakh, Chinese troops reportedly intruded more than 20 kilometres inside Indian territory in Chaglagam area of Arunachal Pradesh last week and stayed there for over two days.
The incident occurred on August 13 with troops of People's Liberation Army (PLA) coming inside Arunachal after they were stopped by the Indian troops, Defence sources said in Itanagar on Wednesday.
Both sides showed banners to each other to leave the area, the sources said in Delhi. However, Chinese soldiers reportedly stayed put and left after two days, they said. Official sources in Itanagar said the Chinese troops went back after a 15-minute Border Personnel Meeting. "They had come and have gone.
The Indian troops are now present at the spot in strength," the sources said. The Chaglagam area, also known as "fish tail" because of the shape of the LAC in the area, has consistently seen intrusions by the Chinese in the past but they have always gone back immediately. China lays claim over entire Arunachal Pradesh which is rejected by India.
Both the Army headquarters in Delhi and the External Affairs Ministry downplayed the incident. "We don't take up non-events in diplomatic practice. What has happened or not is upto sentinels of our borders to answer. They know the factual position on this and I think they have answered that.
"There has been a rebuttal by the army on this and we don't want to to go beyond that. And consequent to that, obviously, if that is what the position was, we don't focus on non-events in diplomatic practice," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in Delhi.
He was asked whether India has taken up with China the issue of incursion in Arunachal Pradesh. Army Headquarters said the Chinese troops have gone back and such incidents keep taking place as both sides enter areas claimed by the other side while patrolling the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC).
In April, Chinese troops had entered 19 kms deep inside the Indian Territory and pitched their tents in Depsang plains in Ladakh. They returned after a three-week stand-off and several rounds of hectic parleys between the top officials of the two countries.
In the last eight months, Army sources said there have been over 150 incursions by the Chinese side and that Indian troops also enter areas claimed by them during patrolling. India had sent a strong message to China by landing the C-130J Super Hercules transport plane at the Daulat beg Oldie airstrip, about eight km from the LAC.
"It is not a repeat of 1962," said Ninong Ering, Minister of State for Minority Affairs and MP from Arunachal (East). "A peaceful situation is prevailing there and we want that this should continue," he said. Former BJP MP from Arunachal Tapir Gao claimed that around 200 Chinese troops had entered Chaglagam area.