China laying cables to boost communication at Ladakh flashpoint: Report
Ladakh : Chinese troops are believed to be laying network optical fibre cable in the south of Pangong Lake in Ladakh, suggesting that they are not going in accordance to the high-level dialogues and promises.
Such cables have recently been spotted to the south of Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh, a senior government official told news agency Reuters.
However, China's foreign ministry did not reply immediately to the concern.
Both India and China have stationed a large number of troops, backed by tanks and fighter jets to ensure preparedness for any kind of situation.
A third Indian official said on Monday that there had been no significant withdrawals or reinforcements on either side since the foreign ministers of the two countries met last week.
"It is as tense as earlier," he said.
Above Leh, Ladakh's main city, Indian Air Force fighter planes flew throughout the morning, their engines booming and echoing across the valley surrounded by brown, barren mountains.
"Our biggest worry is that they have laid optical fibre cables for high-speed communications," the first official said, referring to the lake's southern bank, where Indian and Chinese troops are only a few hundred metres apart at some points.
"They have been laying optical fibre cables on the southern bank at breakneck speed," he said.
Indian intelligence agencies noted similar cables to the north of the Pangong Tso lake around a month ago, the second government official said.
The first government official said the authorities were alerted to such activity after satellite imagery showed unusual lines in the sand of the high-altitude deserts to the south of Pangong Tso.
These lines were judged by experts - and corroborated by foreign intelligence agencies - to be communication cables laid in trenches, he said, including near the Spanggur gap, among hilltops where soldiers fired in the air recently for the first time in decades.
"If you speak on radio, it can get caught. Communications on optical fibre cables is secure," he said.
The Indian military still depends on radio communications, the first official said, although he said it was encrypted.