Indo Tibetan Border Police – frontier force has stepped up vigil along international border with China in tribal Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts after the Chinese choppers violated Indian airspace twice in April and then in first week of May.
Chinese choppers have been spotted twice in Sumdoh in tribal Lahaul and Spiti district that shares it’s borders with China .
Indo Tibetan border police had spotted two Chinese choppers on April 11 and then again on April 20th . Himachal Pradesh shares 260 km of porous borders with China. Of the total border length, 140 km is along tribal Kinnaur district, while 80 km of border falls in tribal Lahaul and Spiti district.
Five battalions of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are guarding the border with China. In total, there are 20 ITBP posts along the border. The sensitive post includes Kaurik – it’s the last village situated beyond Sumdoh.
The ITBP posts are situated in Lakuma, Morrang, Morni, Dogri, Rishi Dogri, Domti and Niltahla pass.” In the wake of reports of air incursions along international border, the police is keeping on situation “ said Inspector General of Police , ( intelligence) Daljeet Singh Thakur.
Indian Tibetan Border Police and the army conducted recce along the international border after Chinese choppers violated the Indian air space and beefed up security . Chinese army choppers usually conducts aerial reconnaissance in April and May months .
While the Indian army choppers also carried areil reconnaissance along the border .The military and Indo Tibetan Border Police personnel could not trace any tale signs left by the Chinese helicopters. Chinese army has been constantly strengthening its infrastructure along international border in Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur district , even as frontiers were peaceful during the 1962 aggression .
There are high passes along the Chinese border that forbids the troops from both sides to intrude into each other’s territory.
The main passes between China and India in Himachal Pradesh includes the Khimokul Pass and Simthong Pass, located ahead of the Trungla valley, which crosses into China-occupied Tibet. Similarly, the 5,280-m-high Rangio La and 5,320 Keobrangla pass situated ahead of Nesang valley lead to Tibet. Yamrangla – situated at the height of 5,570 m – is the highest mountain pass.
The 5,200-m-high Shipki La pass is the most famous pass between the India-China border. Shipki La Pass is used for the cross-border trade between two countries.
The trade route was closed after the Chinese aggression in 1962, but was reopened after India and China signed a protocol in 1994. The trade between the two countries restarted in 1994.
Shigastay, in China, controlled Tibetan autonomous Region is the closest air base to Indian border. Airport in Shigastay is being dually used for army and civilian flights are nearly 100 kilometres away from Kaurik in Kinnaur.