Amid the ongoing tension at the Indo-China border in Ladakh, Times Now broadcasted a piece of information that stated that China has opened the Pangong Tso Lake to international and domestic tourists.
"The videos of opening Pangong Tso Lake to the international tourists on the Chinese side are being disseminated by China itself. The move seems like a PR exercise to gather more attention to their side," the channel stated. The anchor can be heard saying that the visuals were "acquired."
Similar claims have been doing the rounds since on the internet since then.
The Logical Indian received a request to verify the claims.
On September 10, the Indian Army installed barbed wires at heights occupied by India along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), warning China not to enter its territory as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has made several attempts to close in on Indian positions.
"This has been done to discourage them from coming close to areas we are occupying. It's a temporary obstacle to convey our intent to the aggressive manoeuvres by the Chinese," an official was quoted as saying.
"The message is loud and clear, don't come into our area."
With the Chinese troops firing gunshots in the air while trying to occupy Indian positions north of Rezang La on September 7, the Indian Army has also said that it will respond in a similar way.
China has opened the Pangong lake in Ladakh for international and domestic tourists.
The claim is misleading.
On September 8, a journalist of the Chinese state-controlled broadcaster CGTN tweeted a video of the lake and wrote "Actually, #PangongTso in #China is open to tourists at home and abroad for quite a long time.
The lake is near the Chinese national highway, a good place for self-driving travel. We have a resort on the lake there".
Who Controls Pangong Tso?
According to Indian Express, the Pangong Tso is an endorheic lake (landlocked) that is partly in India's Ladakh region and partly in Tibet.
About two-thirds of the lake is under China's control, and about 45 km is under Indian control. The LAC, which runs from north to south, "cuts the western part of the lake, aligned east-west."
However, India and China have unsettled borders, and the perception of the LAC differs "in multiple sectors, including on Pangong Tso."
According to India, the international boundary is close to Khurnak Fort, a 19th-century ruin, located at the lake's north bank. The LAC, according to India, "is around 15 km west. On the north bank are spurs that jut into the lake, identified as fingers. India says the LAC passes through Finger 8; China claims it is farther west".
Times Now Broadcasts Visuals From '3 Idiots'
The channel showed scenes from the Bollywood movie '3 Idiots'. A part of the movie was filmed at Pangong Lake. The Indian side of the Pangong Lake has a '3 idiots' shooting point as a tourist attraction spot. Times Now aired visuals from this spot to show that China opened the Pangong Lake for domestic and international tourists.
Below is a comparison of screenshots from the Broadcast (Left) and Screenshots from a youtube video of the '3 idiots' shooting point at Pangong Lake (Right) :
The yellow bike and chair used in the film which is also showcased at the shooting point can be seen in both the videos.
Below is another comparison of the yellow bike as seen in the Times Now broadcast (right), 3 Idiots shooting point (middle) and a scene from the movie (left):
Therefore, the visuals aired by Times Now is actually the 3 idiots shooting point located Indian side of the Pangong Lake.