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Indo-Tibetan Border Police deploys CCTV cameras on border

Military veterans fear that Chinese plan to turn buffer zones into 'a new status quo' and will not go back to April 2020 arrangement

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui New Delhi Published 01.03.23, 03:58 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is installing high-resolution CCTV cameras near multiple buffer zones in eastern Ladakh to keep an eye on the Chinese army that is still entrenched inside India-claimed lines as part of the disengagement agreement, sources in the force said on Tuesday.

“We are installing high-resolution CCTV cameras near these buffer zones for surveillance to monitor the Chinese deployment and keep an eye on their movements,” an ITBP official told The Telegraph.


The Chinese, he said, have installed cameras too. “They are remaining within India-claimed lines at these buffer zones and have also installed cameras to keep an eye on our deployment. It is shocking that they are doing this despite the two countries’ armies holding talks to resolve the border standoff,” he said.

The Chinese are estimated to have taken over close to 1,000sqkm of India-claimed territory in eastern Ladakh since May 2020.

There has been “partial” Chinese disengagement from the Galwan Valley, Pangong Lake, Hot Springs and Gogra, but at the price of Indian troops retreating inside Indian territory by an equal distance to create demilitarised “buffer zones”.

The Chinese are remaining within India-claimed lines at these places while the Narendra Modi government faces accusations of capitulating and handing the Chinese more territory on a platter.

Military veterans fear that the Chinese plan to turn the buffer zones into “a new status quo” and would not go back to the April 2020 arrangement. They have questioned the Modi government’s self-defeatist strategy of creating buffer zones within Indian territory instead of insisting on a return to the pre-transgression status quo of May 2020.

Defence ministry officials have maintained the “buffer zones are temporary, and India has not given up its right on those areas”.

Sources in the ITBP’s intelligence wing said it was a matter of great concern that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was erecting watchtowers at several sensitive places along the 3,488km Line of Actual Control that passes through Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh.

“Intelligence reports suggest that the Chinese troops have made frontline formations near some of these sensitive spots and are also building infrastructure including military camps,” said another ITBP official.

Last year, the PLA had erected additional concrete watchtowers, with several CCTV cameras atop them, inside India-claimed lines at theDepsang Plains.

At the Depsang Plains, a 972sqkm plateau located above 16,000 feet, the Chinese army is estimated to be entrenched 18 km inside India-claimed lines.

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