China builds concrete watchtowers at Depsang and Hot Springs near LAC
New Delhi, August 05 (H.S.). The dispute over the Depsang plains and hot springs along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has not been resolved till the 16th round of military talks between India and China. Meanwhile, intelligence reports have revealed that the Chinese Army has built concrete watchtowers with multiple CCTVs in their occupied areas at both the places to keep an eye on the deployment of Indian troops. In response, the Indian Army has also strengthened its position and additional forces are being deployed.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is responsible for forward posts along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). An ITBP official, which guards China’s border, said that ground reports suggest that the Chinese army is continuing its construction in disputed areas along the LAC. 18 km inside India’s claim lines. The Chinese built more watchtowers in the hot springs and in the Depsang plains. To resolve the dispute between these two areas, the 16th round of military talks between India and China was held last month. Even after applying pressure in this, the Chinese army refused to restore the status quo in Eastern Ladakh in April 2020.
Indian military veterans and intelligence experts have expressed apprehension that Chinese forces are planning to create a new status quo along the border to claim ownership of the territory they occupied. The ITBP official said that in July last year, China had built surveillance posts equipped with CCTV cameras inside India for the first time. However, India has also put up temporary (unmanned) watchtower poles with digital cameras to track the movements of the Chinese military. Recently, an intelligence report had revealed the construction of new bunkers along the Line of Actual Control in the Chinese-held area. Apart from this, the strengthening of other infrastructure of China has also been revealed inside India’s Claim Lines (LAC) in Ladakh.
A Defense Ministry source says that the creation of Chinese forces on the Indian side of the LAC is a complete violation of the boundary agreement. China’s construction work is underway amid military talks between the two countries to resolve the border standoff. So far, the Chinese army has “partially” retreated to create a ‘buffer zone’ from the Galwan Valley, both banks of Pangong Lake and Gogra Post. China has refused to budge from the hot springs and the strategically important Depsang plains. Reports say China has been building roads and settlements for its troops in the Depsang plains and elsewhere for several months.