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IAF chopper makes hard landing in Ladakh, inquiry ordered

An Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper made a hard landing near Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) on Monday, which is the northern-most airstrip in eastern Ladakh.

Sources mentioned that the Indian Air Force’s Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv made a hard landing near DBO. Three IAF personnel were in the helicopter when the incident took place on Monday morning. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered in the incident, sources added.

DBO is just north of Depsang Plains, which is one of the friction points in the over year-long standoff between India and China. It is strategically significant for India, as is just a few kilometres short of the Karakoram Pass in the north.

The Chinese military has a strong military presence, on its side, opposite the Depsang-DBO sector. In Depsang Plains, China is blocking Indian troops from accessing its traditional patrolling limits: Patrolling Point 10, PP11, PP11A, PP12 and PP13.

The Air Force, along with the Indian Army has deployed additional assets in the entire eastern Ladakh region where the stand-off with China began last May when it diverted its forces and crossed the Line of Actual Control at several points.

While both sides had stepped back in the Pangong Tso region in February, considerably reducing the tension as troops were just a few hundred meters apart, there has been no further disengagement from other friction points in the region.

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