Months before standoff, China blocks 5 patrol points in Depsang
New Delhi : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who recently made a statement in Rajya Sabha over patrolling by Indian Army along LAC in Eastern Ladakh. He said, "patrolling patterns are traditional and well-defined… no force on earth can stop our soldiers from patrolling" and "there will be no change in the patrolling pattern."
But, if we talk about the real life situation, especially at the Depsang Plains in the far North of Ladakh, the China had blocked patrolling by Indian Army months before the standoff began in May on the north bank of Pangong Tso.
According to a news report, the Chinese Army had blocked Indian access to five “traditional” patrolling points (PPs) in the Depsang Plains.
Confirming this, a top source in the government told The Sunday Express earlier this week that the Chinese blocked access to PPs 10, 11, 11A, 12 and 13 in March-April this year.
Located east of the strategic Sub-Sector North road or the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road, the five PPs are close to the LAC, but not at the LAC itself – in short, they are located well inside the line that marks Indian territory.
The track going east from Burtse forks into two at Bottleneck, the reason why it is also called Y-Junction. The track north, following the Raki Nala, goes towards PP10, while the track southeast goes towards PP-13 along Jivan Nala. On the patrolling route moving south, in a rough crescent from PP10 to PP 13, are PPs 11, 11A and 12.
Not having access to these PPs means that the Chinese soldiers are blocking Indians from reaching and asserting control over an area which, according to India, is on its side of the LAC.