The Indian Army on Sunday dismissed reports that its soldiers had been detained by Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, ANI reported. The Army’s denial came after some reports claimed that an Indian patrol party was detained and later released by China amid a standoff between the two sides.
In a statement, the Army called out media houses for publishing unverified information. “There has been no detention of Indian soldiers at the China border,” Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand was quoted as saying by the news agency. “We categorically deny this. It only hurts national interests when media outlets publish unsubstantiated news.”
Tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control have heightened over the past few months. Earlier this month, there were reports of China pitching tents near river Galwan, which was also a flash point between New Delhi and Beijing during the 1962 war.
Indian and Chinese soldiers were also involved in a face-off on May 9. Just days before that, the Indian Army had alleged that Chinese soldiers were resorting to aggression along the Ladakh border, following which there was a physical fight between the two sides.
On Thursday, India had strongly contested China’s claims that its soldiers had crossed the Line of Actual Control and entered Chinese territory. “Any suggestion that Indian troops had undertaken activity across the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector or the Sikkim sector is not accurate,” the External Affairs ministry had said in a statement. “Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the Line of Actual Control in the India-China border areas and abide by it scrupulously. All Indian activities are entirely on the Indian side of the LAC.”
The United States had also sided with India and said that tension along the LAC was a reminder of the fact that Chinese aggression can be real, not merely rhetorical.