The Army on Tuesday said Chinese troops fired shots in the air and attempted to close in on an Indian position in eastern Ladakh a day earlier as it rejected charges by China's People's Liberation Army(PLA) that it transgressed across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The remarks by the Army came after the PLA late on Monday night alleged that the Indian troops crossed the LAC and "outrageously fired" warning shots near the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh.
The Army officials said that China continues to undertake provocative activities to escalate the situation in eastern Ladakh region.
"At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing. It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress," the Indian Army said.
A Chinese military spokesperson had earlier said the Indian troops "illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control on Monday and outrageously fired warning shots on Chinese border patrol soldiers who were about to negotiate."
Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theater Command, added that Chinese troops took the "countermeasures to stabilize the situation".
In its response, India said: "In the instant case on 7 September 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops. However, despite the grave provocation, own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner."
The use of firearms along the LAC marks a serious escalation in border tensions as the previous instance of shots being fired at the de-facto border was in 1975.
Tensions have flared up again in eastern Ladakh after China's unsuccessful attempt to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake.
India occupied a number of strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake and strengthened its presence in Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in the region to thwart any Chinese actions. China has strongly objected to India's move. However, India has maintained that the strategic heights are on its side of the LAC.
India has also rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region following China's transgression attempts.
Following China's fresh attempts to change the status quo in the southern bank of Pangong lake, India has further bolstered its military presence in the region.
(With agency Inputs)
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