Arunachal Pradesh: India’s massive C-17 plane landing and China’s incursion in Leh, Army denies ‘incursion’

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ITANAGAR: The IAF short-field landing of the mighty C-17 Globemaster aircraft at high-altitude Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh near the border with China, has clearly sent out shockwaves as India makes it stands and displays its might in the skies.

This underlined yet again the Indian Air Force's capability to reach out to the remote ALG located at Mechuka in the Yargyap river valley of West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, just 29 km from the India-China border, it said.

The ALG, situated at an altitude of 6,200 feet with a landing surface of only 4,200 feet, was recently upgraded. The road connectivity to the nearest air/rail head at Dibrugarh, about 500 km away, generally involves two days of travel, if the roads are not damaged due to frequent landslides.

"This is a quantum jump from the existing capability of AN-32 and C-130J aircraft. Such airlift capability facilitates speedy transfer of men and material in this rugged terrain, interspersed with valleys and high mountain ranges that inhibit road connectivity.

"In the event of a disaster in the region, C-17 operations to the remote ALG can enhance the speed and quantum of national relief effort," said the IAF statement.

The IAF said it has plans to validate airlift operations to and from various ALGs in the region that would usher in a new dimension in enhanced disaster response.

"This trial landing is expected to pave the way for operation of civil flights operating to and from the newly upgraded ALGs, which hold enormous potential to boost tourism by improving connectivity to remote locations in the north-east," the statement said.

Also, a  stand-off was witnessed between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), but the Indian Army on Thursday denied any "incursion" by the Chinese troops on Indian side.

According to government sources, a stand-off between Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) was witnessed on Wednesday when the Chinese troops objected to some civilian construction work that is going on in Demchok.

Sources, however, said the Chinese troops stood along the LAC. China has expressed opposition to certain construction project that are going on on the Indian side.

The Indian Army, while stating there was no "incursion", also said that the issue of construction projects "on both sides" is being sorted out in the Border Personnel Meetings (BPM).

"No Chinese incursion across LAC. Issues relating construction projects on both sides of LAC being resolved in BPM," the Army's Northern Command said in a tweet.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup meanwhile said even if an incident may have happened, it would be resolved through established mechanisms, and added that it should not be "sensationalised".

"I am not specifically aware of any such incident but even if something like this has happened, there are, as you know, established mechanisms to handle such situations as a result of which in the recent past at least our border with China has been free of any major incident. I would urge let us not sensationalise things out of context," he said.

The Indian Defence Ministry and Army have maintained that there have not been any incidents of "incursion" by China, but due to different perceptions of the LAC, transgressions do occur as both sides undertake patrol up to their perception of the LAC.

(TNT and Agencies)

(Featured Image Source: Internet/ Representational)