Kolkata: Like in Galwan, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was planning to set up an Observation Post (OP) on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Yangste in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, when the Indian Army personnel intervened. This was revealed by a senior army officer posted in Arunachal Pradesh. As per laid down guidelines, no OP or similar structure can be set up close to the LAC by either side.
“It is already extremely cold there. Within the next couple of weeks, all areas close to the LAC will be under several feet of snow. On the Indian side, final preparations are being made to stock our forward positions with adequate supplies. There is a lot of troop movement as well. The PLA is certainly interested to learn more about our preparations for the winter, hence the decision to set up the OP,” the army officer said.
While the PLA does have surveillance cameras, they are at a distance from the LAC. Drones are also used but a direct view is always considered the best to plan any move. In Galwan, the clash with the PLA started after the Indian Army demolished an OP that the Chinese refused to dismantle.
Locals at Tsechu, a small town closest to the point where Indian and Chinese troops clashed on Friday are extremely unhappy with the PLA for disturbing the peace of the region.
“This happened barely a few hundred metres from Chumi Gyatse, a waterfall (a collection of 108 smaller waterfalls) that is considered holy by us Monpas from both sides of the LAC. The Indian Army respects our sentiments and never does anything to disturb the sanctity of the place. This is the second time that the PLA has created a ruckus here,” one of them said.
The PLA has cause for concern. Over the last few years, the Indian Army, with help from the Arunachal Pradesh government, has created a lot of infrastructure in that region.
While this has helped locals, it has also aided in quicker and easier movement of soldiers and equipment to the border.
“In Galwan, our brave soldiers were taken by surprise. But we were prepared this time. As soon as we detected movement by the PLA towards the LAC, we knew how to react. They were trying to access higher ground to set up the OP but we stopped them and forced them to return. The Chinese kept on saying that the whole region is their territory but we were not interested. The injuries suffered by a few of our soldiers are minor ones,” the army officer added.