NEW DELHI: Responding to China’s livid demand for an explanation as to how an unmanned Indian Aerial Vehicle (UAV) crashed in Chinese territory after crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Sikkim sector, the Indian Army has said that the UAV had developed technical problems after which it lost contact with ground control. Stating that Indian border forces had immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts and that the Chinese side reverted with the location details of the UAV, Colonel Aman Anand, spokesperson of the Indian Army, said.
“The exact cause of the incident is under investigation. The matter is being dealt with in accordance with the established protocols through institutional mechanisms to deal with situations along the India-China border areas.” The UAV was on a regular training mission inside Indian territory before losing contact with the ground control due to some technical problem and crossed over the LAC, the spokesperson added.
While Indian officials declined to provide more information on the UAV including the timing of the incident, the episode assumes significance in the backdrop of the 73-day-long standoff at Doklam, near the tri-junction between India’s Sikkim, China and Bhutan that ended in August-end. Terming the incident as an infringement on China’s territorial sovereignty, Zhang Shuili, deputy head of the combat bureau of the Western Theater Command’s joint staff department, told the Chinese media. “India has infringed on China’s territorial sovereignty, and we are strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to this We will fulfill our mission and responsibility and defend China's national sovereignty and security resolutely,” Zhang said.