/Intelligence agencies warn of Chinese build-up in South Ladakh’s Zeo La region

Intelligence agencies warn of Chinese build-up in South Ladakh’s Zeo La region

Indian intelligence agencies have found evidence of a strong Chinese presence in Zeo La near Mount Sajjum, a strategic location across the Line of Actual Control, which has the potential to “cut off the entire Dungti-Demchok axis” on the Indian side.

The Chinese build-up includes a road, Chinese vehicles and a hut built by the People’s Liberation Army for surveillance purposes, according to an intelligence report accessed by this newspaper.

The report highlights “tell-tale” signs of Chinese troops in the area around Mount Sajjum and Zeo La. “A rough motorable track originating from an inhabited area in China (approximately 25 km from LAC) running approximately 8 km towards LAC/Mount Sajjum was also observed,” the report said.

“Three Chinese vehicles were observed plying up to the visible area on the road towards LAC/Mount Sajjum. A hut-like structure, appeared to have been built by PLA on the top of Mount Sajjum, was also observed,” it added.

The hut, sources said, was a post built by the PLA to observe three valleys in Ladakh. Underlining the significance of Mount Sajjum, intelligence agencies said the Chinese can observe large parts of South Ladakh on the Indian side from that height.

“Mount Sajjum is a strategically important and it overlooks the entire Kakjung belt. The tri-junction of Chushul, Koyl and Loma Bend is clearly observed from Mount Sajjum. Any misadventure by China may cut off the entire Dungti-Demchok axis,” the report said.

Experts said the Chinese build-up could have a bearing on the country’s security but were not alarmed because of the heavy deployment of the Indian Army in the region.