- PLA troops intruded around 300-400 metres inside the Demchok sector of eastern Ladakh last month
- Sources said the PLA removed three of their tents after brigadier-level talks between the two armies
- Demchok is one of the 23 “disputed and sensitive areas” identified on the LAC
China continues to needle India at different stretches along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), with People’s Liberation Army troops intruding around 300-400 metres inside the Demchok sector of eastern Ladakh and pitching five tents there in the latest such incident last month.
Security establishment sources on Monday said the PLA subsequently removed three of their tents in the Cherdong-Nerlong Nallan area after brigadier-level talks between the two armies, but the remaining two tents with “some Chinese troops in civvies” are still present in the area. The Army, on being contacted, refused to say anything about the incident.
Sources said the PLA soldiers, in the garb of nomads with cattle in tow, had intruded into Indian territory in the first week of July and did not retreat despite Indian troops repeatedly conducting “banner drills” (showing flags to ask them to go back to their own territory) in accordance with laid down protocol to diffuse faceoffs along the LAC.
“The PLA removed three of the tents only after India pushed for talks between the rival brigade commanders,” said a source, adding that the Chinese troops apparently complained against the Ladakh administration’s attempt to construct a path in the Nerlong area.
Demchok is one of the 23 “disputed and sensitive areas” identified on the LAC, stretching from eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, which witnesses frequent “transgressions and troop faceoffs” between the two armies due to “differing perceptions” of the unresolved boundary. The other disputed areas in Ladakh include Trig Heights, Dumchele, Chumar, Spanggur Gap and Pangong Tso.
The number of transgressions, which is military euphemism for incursions, by Chinese troops along the LAC has crossed 170 this year. If 273 transgressions were recorded in 2016, the number touched 426 last year in wake of the 73-day troop face-off at the Bhutanese territory of Doklam near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.
As earlier reported by TOI, though Indian troops in June last year had physically blocked the attempt by Chinese soldiers + to extend the existing motorable road there southwards towards the Jampheri Ridge in south Doklam, the fallout has been that the PLA has constructed military infrastructure and helipads as well as permanently stationed around 600-700 troops in north Doklam.
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