The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is continuing construction activity in the “occupied” territory in Depsang Plains and has been building additional military camps at the friction point, sources in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have said.
“The latest ground reports from Depsang Plains suggest the PLA has intensified construction works in the occupied zone and has been building concrete shelters and additional military camps for its soldiers,” said an ITBP official.
The PLA, he said, has so far refused to disengage from the remaining friction points within India claimed lines – Depsang Plains and Hot Springs.
ITBP is the first line of defence along the 3,488km China frontier, which passes along Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The army remains behind it.
The Chinese army is said to be entrenched 18km inside India-claimed lines on the strategically crucial Depsang Plains. It has cut off the Indian Army’s access to five traditional patrolling points — PPs 10, 11, 11A, 12 and 13 — since the border standoff began in May last year.
The border standoffs in Hot Springs and Depsang Plains is continuing even though there has been “partial” disengagements from the Galwan Valley, Pangong Lake and Gogra, by creating a demilitarised “buffer zone” with the Chinese stepping back a few kilometres while still remaining within India-claimed lines.
Military veterans have questioned the government’s “concessions” in agreeing to create a buffer zone, saying such buffer zones within India claimed lines meant territory loss for the Indian Army.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ceding territory to China.
Sources in the defence ministry said India has also undertaken several infrastructure development projects within its claimed territory along the China frontier and has been building nearly 70 roads of operational significance. China, too, has also been enhancing its border infrastructure by building roads, bridges, a railway network and airports, sources in the ministry said.