Counter-productive Twitter war erupts as Indian & Chinese soldiers remain locked in actual confrontation in Ladakh | India News

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May 31, 2020

NEW DELHI: A virtual online battle erupted between Indian and Chinese twitter warriors on Sunday to further stoke tensions while soldiers from the two countries remain locked in the month-long military confrontation in eastern Ladakh, which has seen rival troop build-ups and induction of heavy weapons in the high-altitude region.
The competing twitter handles posted videos and pictures of violent clashes between Army-ITBP troops and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers, both armed with stones, rods and sticks, on the northern bank of Pangong Tso (Tso means lake) in eastern Ladakh.
TOI is refraining from going into the details of the videos and pictures but they do show bloodied and battered soldiers on both sides. Such “leaks”, which can prove hugely counter-productive, come amidst deep concerns that increasing violence levels along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) could one day lead to a shot being fired in anger, something which has not happened in the last 45 years.
The Indian Army, on its part, slammed the “malafide attempts” being made on social media to raise tensions when “differences” between the rival troops on ground are being addressed through regular interactions between the local military commanders in accordance with established border management protocols between the two countries.
“It has been brought to our notice that videos are doing the rounds in social media on an incident on the borders. The contents of videos being circulated are not authenticated. The attempt to link them with the present situation on the northern borders is malafide,” said Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand on Sunday.
“Currently, no violence is happening. We strongly condemn attempts to sensationalize issues impacting national security, which are likely to vitiate the current situation on the borders,” he added.
This comes a day after defence minister Rajnath Singh admitted the PLA soldiers had “come a little further than they used to earlier” to make the “situation different” from earlier face-offs. But talks are underway through diplomatic and military channels to resolve the confrontation, he added.
In a well-coordinated move to change the status quo along the LAC, PLA soldiers intruded around 1-3 km into what India considers to be its territory at multiple points in the Galwan Valley region, northern bank of Pangong Tso and Demchok areas.
There have been several scuffles between the rival soldiers since then, including the violent clash at Pangong Tso that left dozens injured on both sides on May 5-6.
As was earlier reported by TOI, PLA troops have also further consolidated their positions at the four to five face-off sites by digging trenches and pitching tents, building bunkers and extending roads. They are backed by well over 5,000 soldiers as well as artillery guns and armoured vehicles amassed within Chinese territory across the LAC.
India, too, has more than matched the PLA build-up by moving forward troops of the Leh-based 3 Infantry Division into their “operational alert areas”, while several rounds of talks between major-general, brigadier and colonel-level officers have failed to break the deadlock till now.

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