NEW DELHI: Two helicopters of the People’s Liberation Army of China hovered over Chamoli district in Uttarakhand Saturday, triggering concern in India’s security establishment about the PLA’s fourth such incursion into Indian airspace since March this year.
Official sources said the choppers, which returned to the Chinese side after about five minutes, could have carried out aerial photography of Indian ground troops during what was possibly a reconnaissance mission. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is probing the incident, an IAF source said.
The choppers were identified as the Zhiba series of attack helicopters. On previous occasions, Chinese helicopters had entered 4.5 kilometres into Indian territory, an area that China claims as its own and recognises as Wu-Je.
State and army officials have been reviewing the security along the 350-kilometre border with Tibet after China’s incursions into these areas, generally referred as the middle sector.
Barahoti is one of three border posts in the sector, comprising Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where ITBP jawans are not allowed to carry weapons and are in civilian clothes under a unilateral decision taken by the Central government in June 2000.