Pro-China Newspaper The Hindu has been caught yet another fake news, where it had claimed that Chinese forces have occupied the finger 2 and finger 3 regions on the north bank of Pangong Tso lake. Quoting former BJP MP Thupstan Chhewang, the newspaper had published a report on Friday saying that Chinese troops have further transgressed into Indian territory and occupied new positions on the bank of Pangong Tso.
According to the report, Chhewang had said that he received this information from locals living in the forward areas along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. He had also claimed that Indian soldiers are living in tents and it is not adequate for them in sub-zero conditions. The report quoted the politician as saying, “The border situation is critical. The Chinese troops have not only further transgressed into our areas but they have also occupied prominent positions in Finger 2 and 3 areas of Pangong Tso, even Hot Springs area they have not fully vacated… this is what we have come to know from locals.”
But the clams of Chhewang reported by The Hindu has been rejected by Army officials. Reacting to the news, Retired Lieutenant General Satish Dua said that it is fake claim and fake news. He confirmed that there are no civilians living in the area, therefore the civilians quoted in the report are not correct.
A tweet by PIB Fact Check also said that the claim made in the report is incorrect. The official factchecking arm of PIB informed that it is a fake news and the Indian Army has refuted the statement.
Satellite imagery expert handle on Twitter, @detresfa also confirmed that India is still holding its positions in the high areas on the north bank of the lake. The open source intelligence handle posted latest satellite images from the area, which shows that Indian positions has not changed and there is no Chinese incursion in the area.
A report by defence expert Nitin A. Gokhale last week confirms that the situation remains unchanged on the banks of Pangong Tso for last several weeks. “After nearly six months of attempted military coercion, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been unable to force the Indian military to succumb or retreat”, the report states.
It may be noted that Indian troops had occupied the higher reaches of the ridgeline Finger 4 on August 29-30, using a route not visible from Chinese camps on the lower ground in the region, getting a strategic advantage. Since then, Indian forces has been occupying those higher areas, and China has been unable to displace them as in mountain warfare, whoever occupies higher areas has an upper hand.
It may be noted that on the 1st of October, The Hindu ran a full page advertorial paid for and planted by China. The paid content appeared on the 3rd page of the paper. The paid content was designed to look like a full page article would seem like just that – a feature on how the world is wrong about mighty China and how, on the National Day of the People’s Republic of China.