Rejecting China’s claims that an Indian drone violated its airspace, the Ministry of Defence on Thursday said an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) lost contact with ground control due to a technical glitch and crossed over the Line of Actual Control in Sikkim sector.
“An Indian UAV which was on a regular training mission inside the Indian territory lost contact with the ground control due to some technical problem and crossed over the LAC in the Sikkim Sector,” a statement from MoD said.
The Indian border security personnel immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts over the missing UAV, it said. “In response, Chinese side reverted with location details. Exact cause of the incident is under investigation. Matter being dealt with in accordance with established protocols,” it added.
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that members of the People’s Liberation Army retrieve the drone from an undisclosed location. “India’s move has infringed upon China’s territorial sovereignty, and we are strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to this,” Zhang Shuili, deputy head of the combat bureau of the Western Theatre Command’s joint staff department, told Xinhua.
“We will fulfil our mission and responsibility and defend China’s national sovereignty and security resolutely,” he said.
India and China were recently locked in a standoff in the Dokalam after Chinese troops began constructing a road near the Bhutan trijunction.
The 73-day-long Dokalam standoff ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India’s Chicken Neck corridor.
India had objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by the Chinese troops in the area also claimed by Bhutan.