Indian troops had confronted intruding Chinese PLA personnel at four different points in the Yangste area of Tawang sector along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday, forcing them to retreat to their bases, sources familiar with fresh border face off said.

It is learnt that on recieving information that between 200–300 Chinese personnel would be coming late night into Yangste area of Tawang on December 9, Indian troops were well prepared to confront them. Indian troops engaged them at four different points as they crossed over the perceived patrolling areas.

“At one point, the Chinese side outnumbered Indian soldiers , but on the remaining three we were more in number and were capable of matching them in terms of weaponry,” said sources privy to information getting out of the ground zero.

Held captive

In the physical fight, both sides sustained injuries but Indian troops managed to keep captive PLA soldiers for some time before the situation was defused.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had flown combat air patrols to counter the spurt of Chinese presence in skies ahead of PLA’s attempt on Friday to transgress into the Yangste area of Tawang sector, said another source.

Noting Chinese deployment of drones and other aerial platforms flying close to the LAC of Arunachal Pradesh, the IAF had to scramble fighter jets to counter the threat, sources said.

Operational preparedness to tackle such situations was pressed into action days before the face off between troops of China and India — the second since Galwan clashes of May 2020, along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh, which had led to fatalties on both sides.

Meeting of top brass

Post the December 9 incident, IAF and Indian Army are keeping a close eye on developments along the LAC. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held meetings with the Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, along with tri-services chiefs before giving statements in Parliament on Tuesday, wherein he stressed that troops foiled the attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in Tawang sector.

Meanwhile, Beijing described the Taiwang border situation ‘generally stable’. According to a PTI report, Senior Colonel Long Shaohua, spokesman of Western Theatre Command of the Chinese PLA, issued a statement claiming that the clash on December 9 took place when its troops on regular patrol on the Chinese side of the LAC were blocked by Indian soldiers.