Representational image of China's People's Liberation Army | Photo: Justin Chin | Bloomberg
Representational image of China's People's Liberation Army | Photo: Justin Chin | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: On the night of 28 August, China had attempted to move in over 1,000 soldiers to capture territory on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control, near the southern bank of Pangong Tso, ThePrint has learnt.

However, the attempt was thwarted by a combination of an alert surveillance system and troops specialising in mountain warfare, who raced against time and managed to outflank the Chinese and dominate several heights, giving India strategic hold over Reqin Pass and Spanggur Gap in the hills in the Chushul sector.

Sources in the defence and security establishment described the Indian move as a “precautionary deployment”, and underlined repeatedly that the forces had not crossed the LAC, even though inputs said ‘Black Top’ across the LAC was also a scene of action.

ThePrint had reported earlier that Indian troops had to resort to “tactical warnings” to the incoming Chinese soldiers to dissuade them.


Also read: India is being responsible but don’t doubt our ability to defend, Rajnath tells China


How the events unfolded

Sources said at about 11 pm on 28 August, an Indian surveillance team first noticed the movement of some Chinese armoured personnel carriers (APCs) in Moldo.

This was followed by drone surveillance, and the People’s Liberation Army troops’ movement indicated they were going towards the LAC, and to a specific feature. Sources refused to identify the feature, citing operational reasons.

They said at this moment, specialised Indian units raced for the heights and dominated them — going even quicker than what had been worked out when multiple scenarios were being studied.

Then, it was noticed that the Chinese soldiers were carrying equipment meant to set up holding positions. This is when the Chinese were given the first tactical warning, and they stopped.

Realising that the Indians had understood their tactics, the Chinese called in additional vehicles as back up, so the Indian side issued additional warnings to dissuade them. “They realised the Indians meant business,” a source said.

“In total, 40 to 50 vehicles were there, including APCs. Each vehicle is believed to have 30-40 PLA personnel. So, the Chinese were easily over 1,000 strong,” the source said.

India then decided to dominate more hill tops in the area, and ended up doing just that over 50 km of unoccupied territory. Soldiers of the Mountain Strike Corps and a specialised elite unit raced for the passes, and dominated them with back up provided by certain other fighting arms.

Sources said specialised teams had already been deployed in the area in wake of the crisis that began in May, and were acclimatised and aware of the terrain and different routes to be taken. These troops specialise in carrying out covert operations behind enemy lines.

Around the same time, Nyima Tenzin, a Tibetan-Indian from the elite covert paramilitary unit Special Frontier Force (SFF), stepped on a 1962-vintage anti-personnel mine and was killed in action. His last rites were conducted Monday.


Also read: All about Special Frontier Force, the secretive Indian unit in news after Ladakh clash


 

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12 Comments Share Your Views

12 COMMENTS

  1. This is all about the huge investment in CPEC and Highway 219 which links XinJiang, Tibet, Karakorum Highway and the port of Gwadar. The investors are the global money lenders like ADB, EU Germany, City of London and of course Walstreet USA. The same notorious BEIC corporates have reappeared as Communist Liberal Dems. They will never allow anyone to mess with their investment.

    The future of Communist China depends largely on the outcome of November elections in USA. If Dems win then Pakistan, Iran, China and commie liberals all over the world will become more stronger and vengeful than ever. If Trump win then all Chinese media virus will mutate into this air. As far as Indians are concerned, the liberation of Tibet is most important. Kailash Manasarovar belongs to sanatana dharma followers exitdragon.blogspot.com

  2. This is all about the huge investment in CPEC and Highway 219 which links XinJiang, Tibet, Karakorum Highway and the port of Gwadar. The investors are the global money lenders like ADB, EU Germany, City of London and of course Walstreet USA. The same notorious BEIC corporate have reappeared as Communist Liberal Dems. They will never allow anyone to mess with their investment.

    The future of Communist China depends largely on the outcome of November elections in USA. If Dems win then Pakistan, Iran, China and commie liberals all over the world will become more stronger and vengeful than ever. If Trump win then all Chinese media virus will mutate into this air. As far as Indians are concerned, the liberation of Tibet is most important. Kailash Manasarovar belongs to sanatana dharma followers exitdragon.blogspot.com

  3. It’s wrong to say 1000 Chinese tps. If it’s 40 vehicles, mostly APCs, the carrying capacity of each is 10 , it will work out to 400. However, there would have been a mix of APCs & other Troop carrying vehicles, so maybe 20 of each. Total numbers of Chinese would have been about 600, a Battalion Group.
    Anyway, these figures are immaterial, because whatever was the figure, it didn’t deter the Ind Army to carry out a great move by capturing most of the dominating heights. This means the Chinese in this Sector can’t make any moves without being observed. That’s like they are rendered immobile.

  4. Indian occupation of strategic heights in Ladakh

    There is a possibility that the Chinese were fooled or were overconfident to keep the heights on the southern shore of Pangong Lake unoccupied. With their major base at Moldo which is located the edge of the smaller Spanggur Lake and a bunch of heights and peaks overlooking the Moldo base, it is hard to believe that they would not think of defense of this base first. As a field commander you would do everything secure the base from all sides. They did not undertake that operation. Or they knew all about it yet they allowed it to be surrounded by the Indian Army. Now that this base is in a hopeless position. It has to be vacated if large scale hostilities break out. Then what is the educated analysis of this Chinese stupidly of not securing the base. My hat is off to the Indian Army for seeing this weakness and occupying all the surrounding heights leading all the way to Chusul, in one tactical move.

    And so, what is the answer to this Chinese stupidity. Are they over confident of their 1962 victory that they trusted that the Indians will never stand up to them or is it pure incompetence.

    Other points which come to mind is that the Chinese deliberately left the heights unattended knowing fully well that India, if push comes to shove will occupy them. That will balance their aggression and make it seem that mutual withdrawal was a trade. That bad taste in India’s mouth will be overcome with India overjoyed. The net outcome that those economic relations which is the greatest causality of this confrontation will be restored. India will feel vindicated that the Chinese have been made to run. That psychological disadvantage of 1962 War will be behind as a forgotten page of story.

    Economics is what Chinese value most, even if they have to get a few lumps.

    • I would have agreed with you 2 days back that this was deliberately left by PLA for Indian Army to capture strategic heights for a face saving mutual retreat. However, now we are seeing desperate attempts by PLA to recapture those heights which means there was error from PLA side for not capturing these heights. Or you may say not properly planned or incompetence.

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