India dismisses China's claims, says PLA fired shots at LAC
India on Tuesday responded to the post-midnight claims of China that the Indian Army fired warning shots at the Southern bank of Pangong Lake, asserting that it was the People's Liberation Army that used firearms. Squarely denying all allegations leveled by PLA, the Indian Army said soldiers exercised "great restraint and behaved in a responsible manner," despite provocation. Here's more on this.
Background: China claimed Indian soldiers crossed LAC, pushed tensions
Earlier, PLA claimed that Indian troops crossed over the LAC, reached Bangong Hunan, the western section of the Sino-Indian border, and fired warning shots on September 7. According to Colonel Zhang Shuili, the spokesperson for People's Liberation Army Western Theatre Command, Indian troops pushed up regional tensions with this action. In a statement, he urged India to restrain its frontline troops.
At no stage did Indian troops resort to firing: Army
However, the Indian side has now put forward its side of the story, and slammed China for engaging in provocative activities that can escalate the situation in the region. "At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing," the Indian Army's statement, released a short while ago, read.
PLA closed-in, when dissuaded fired shots: Indian Army
Providing details about what transpired on September 7, the Indian Army said PLA attempted to close-in with one of the forward positions. "When dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate our troops," the statement added. The Indian Army also said PLA has been violating agreements when military, diplomatic, and political talks are underway.
"China wants to mislead domestic and international audience"
"The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility, however, is also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs. The statement by the Western Theatre Command is an attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience, (sic)" Indian Army said.
The full statement can be read here
Notably, India went public with China's transgressions last week too
This is for the second time in less than ten days that India has slammed China's transgressions. PLA tried to alter the status quo at the Pangong Tso's Southern Bank on the night of August 29 and 30 as well, India said last week, adding that their misdeeds received an apt response from the Indian Army. Back then, China denied any wrongdoings.
India and China are caught in eye-to-eye conflict since April
Tellingly, tensions between both nuclear-armed nations have been simmering since April-May when Beijing protested against India's infrastructure push in the tough terrain. In mid-June, the tensions snowballed into a violent clash wherein 20 Indians soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese personnel lost their lives. Since the Galwan Valley episode, talks have happened at military and diplomatic levels but to no avail.