India Starts Combat Air Patrols Over Arunachal Amid China Tension: Sources – NDTV

The Air Force has detected enhanced Chinese air activity across LAC in Arunachal (File)
Top sources said the Air Force had launched air patrols after spotting Chinese jets flying close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh. This comes after Indian and Chinese troops clashed at the LAC on December 9 at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
Amid massive opposition protests in parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in the clashes last week, there was a physical scuffle between the two sides but Indian soldiers “compelled the Chinese soldiers to return to their posts” and prevented a land-grab. The Indian soldiers pushed back in a “firm and resolute manner”, he said, adding that there were “minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides” and the two sides “immediately disengaged from the area”.
Chinese troops “tried to transgress the LAC in Yangtse, Tawang, and unilaterally change the status quo,” said Rajnath Singh. “Due to timely intervention of Indian military commanders, Chinese soldiers went back to their locations.” In a meeting of commanders, the Chinese were asked to “refrain from such actions and maintain peace and tranquility along the border, he said, adding that the incident had also been taken up through diplomatic channels.
“None of our soldiers died or were seriously injured,” said the Defence Minister in his brief statement, which was followed by an opposition walkout.
China said the situation was “generally stable” on the border, without commenting on the clash. “As far as we understand, the China-India border situation is stable overall. Both sides have throughout maintained unobstructed dialogue on the border issue through diplomatic and military channels, it is hoped that the Indian side will advance in the same direction as China,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
Before his statement in parliament, Rajnath Singh had separate meetings with all three military chiefs and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the government’s response.
Such confrontations had been taking place since 2006 because of “differing perceptions” of the border, the government said. “In certain areas along the LAC in the Tawang Sector in Arunachal Pradesh there are areas of differing perception, wherein both sides patrol the area up to their claim lines,” said sources.
The Indian commander in the area held a flag meeting with his Chinese counterpart to comply with “structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquility”, the government said.
Border tensions between India and China vastly escalated in June 2020, when clashes broke out at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh, in which 20 Indian soldiers died for the country and over 40 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.
This was followed by several confrontations between the two nations, including one at the South Bank of Pangong Lake. After multiple meetings between military commanders, Indian and Chinese troops pulled back from key points including Gogra-Hot Springs in Ladakh.
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