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Air Force To Hold An Exercise In The Eastern Sector To Test Capabilities On China Front

Story Highlights
  • The Army said in a statement, "On December 9, PLA troops contacted the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tawang Sector, which was contested by own (Indian) troops in a firm and resolute way.
  • The next day, Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Indian Army bravely stopped the Chinese PLA from "unilaterally" changing the status quo in the Yangtse area of Tawang.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Tuesday that it will hold a training exercise on December 15 and 16 in the country’s Eastern Sector. Sources say that this will be a command-level exercise planned by the eastern command to test the IAF’s abilities on the China front.

The exercise will include fighter jets, transport planes, helicopters, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

During the exercise, the air bases in Tezpur, Chhabua, Jorhat, and Hashimara in West Bengal are likely to be used. Rafale fighter jets are based at the Hasimara air base.

The news comes a day after the Indian Army said that troops from both sides fought along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector on December 9, leaving “a few people on both sides with minor injuries.”

But the Indian Air Force says that the exercise at the command level in the eastern sector is normal and was planned ahead of time. “The recent fight in Arunachal Pradesh has nothing to do with it,” it said.

The skirmish in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawan was the first major fight between the Indian and Chinese armies since August 2020 near Rinchen La in eastern Ladakh.

The fight happened last Friday near Yangtse along the LAC in a sensitive area. It was part of a standoff between the two sides at the border that has been going on for over 30 months in eastern Ladakh.

The Army said in a statement, “On December 9, PLA troops contacted the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tawang Sector, which was contested by own (Indian) troops in a firm and resolute way. This face-off led to a few minor injuries on both sides.”

“Both sides left the area right away,” the report said. “As a follow-up to the incident, the Indian commander in the area held a flag meeting with his counterpart to talk about the situation in line with structured mechanisms to bring back peace and quiet.”

Even though the Army didn’t say how many troops were involved, sources told the news agency PTI that there were more than 200 PLA soldiers with spiked clubs and sticks, and the number of injuries on the Chinese side could be higher.

The next day, Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Indian Army bravely stopped the Chinese PLA from “unilaterally” changing the status quo in the Yangtse area of Tawang. This was a day after the incident made national news.

“The ensuing standoff led to a physical fight in which the Indian Army bravely stopped the PLA from crossing into our territory and forced them to go back to their posts,” Singh said in Parliament.

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