Sunday, January 29, 2023

All is well: Lt Gen C B Ponnappa on situation following Tawang clash

Days after Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, Adjutant General of the Army Lt Gen C B Ponnappa said on Tuesday that all is well and under control.
The Indian Army said on Monday that the face-off on December 9 resulted in “minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides”.
Asked about the situation after the clash, Lt Gen Ponnappa told PTI on the sidelines of an event, “All is well and (under) control. We all are safe.” He addressed the students of Salwan Public School here during its annual event ‘Samman Diwas’ to pay tributes to Indian Army personnel who died in the line of duty.
“It’s a privilege for me to join you all on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff. We shall continue to inspire the generations. Today it is an occasion to honour our soldiers who sacrificed their lives,” he told the students. At the event, Salwan Education Trust chairman Major General (retired) Sanjeev Shukla said, “As you all know what happened at the border with the Chinese army, so our Army chief was called for a meeting so he could not come here.”
He added that Indian soldiers have given a befitting reply to the Chinese army. “We have sent them back from the land they wanted to grab. We have the bravest soldiers on the borders and we can sleep peacefully till they are there.”

China silent on Yangtse clash

China on Tuesday said the situation was “generally stable” along its border with India, days after the troops of the two countries clashed in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, resulting in minor injuries to some soldiers on both sides.
At a media briefing here, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the two sides have maintained smooth communication on border-related issues through diplomatic and military channels. Wang, however, declined to provide details of the December 9 clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers at the Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector.
There were no fatalities or serious injuries to Indian troops in the scuffle, he added.
Asked about the incident during the media interaction, Wang said: “As far as we know, the current border situation between China and India is generally stable”.
“As for the specific questions you mentioned, I suggest you refer to the competent authorities,” Wang added.
The Chinese Defence Ministry has not reacted to the incident so far. Wang also said Beijing hopes that the “Indian side will work with us in the same direction and smoothly deliver the important common understanding reached by leaders of both sides. “And act strictly on the spirit of relevant bilateral agreements signed by both sides and jointly preserve peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
It is the first major clash between the Indian and Chinese armies since the fierce face-off in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.

IAF closely monitoring situation along LAC in Arunachal

The Indian Air Force is closely monitoring the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh following an attempt by the Chinese PLA troops last week to unilaterally change the status quo in the Tawang sector in the border state, people familiar with the development said on Tuesday.
They said the IAF has also stepped up its overall surveillance in the areas in view of the Chinese attempt of transgression on December 9, adding it follows standard operation procedures that included scrambling of fighter jets in case of specific security concerns.
“The situation is being monitored closely by both the IAF and the Army,” said one of the people cited above.
The people indicated that the IAF has increased the frequency of the sorties by its combat jets in the region.
On Monday, the Indian Army said troops from the two sides clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector and the face-off led to “minor injuries” to a few personnel from both sides”. The face-off took place amid the over 30-month border standoff between the two sides in eastern Ladakh. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Parliament on Tuesday that the Indian troops bravely thwarted the attempt by Chinese PLA from “unilaterally” changing the status in Yangtse area of the Tawang sector and there were no fatalities or serious casualties to the Indian troops in the scuffle.
“On December 9, PLA troops tried to transgress the LAC in the Yangtse area of Tawang Sector and unilaterally change the status quo. The Chinese attempt was contested by our troops in a firm and resolute manner,” Singh said.
“The ensuing face off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts,” he said.
It was the first major clash between the India and Chinese armies since August 2020 near Rinchen La in eastern Ladakh.
Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a brief face-off near Yangtse in October last year as well and it was resolved following talks between local commanders of the two sides as per established protocols.

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