Chinese troops enter Indian territory again

Last Updated: Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 15:37

Leh/Srinagar: After remaining peaceful for
most of the year, Chinese troops entered Indian territory at
the fag end of 2010 along the Line of Actual Control in
southeastern Ladakh region and threatened a contractor and
his team to halt work on constructing a "passenger shed".

The Chinese troops, which included motor-cycle borne
personnel of People`s Liberation Army (PLA), entered Gombir
area in Demchok region in Jammu and Kashmir and threatened the
civilian workers who were building the shed, the plan for
which was cleared by the state rural development department,
according to details accessed by PTI.

The incident took place in September-October last year
in a village about 300-kms southeast of Leh district
headquarters.

An official report, which was prepared after a meeting
of officials from civilian administration, Army, Central
security agencies and Indo-Tibetan Border Police, stated that
a passenger shed was approved at an estimated cost of Rs 2
lakh to be built at `T` point in village Gombir under the
Border Area Development Project of Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Chinese Army -- PLA -- came to the `T` point and
asked the contractor to stop the work, the report said. An
official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the
arrival of Chinese troops, some of whom were ironically on
motorcycle, triggered panic among the workers who rushed to
the nearby Army post for help.

The Chinese troops also shouted some slogans which could
not be translated by the officials, the official said.

The Army was quick in responding and asked the state
government to maintain status quo, the report said and added
that the 3 Infantry Division asked the state government to
take the permission of Ministry of Defence before carrying out
any construction activities at least 50 kilometres off the Line
of Actual Control.

When contacted, Lt Col JS Brar, who officiates as
spokesperson for Leh-based 14 Corps, refused to comment on the
issue.

According to the report, the civil administration
proceeded on field verification to the area on October 2,
2010 and on the next day, Army wrote to the administration to
seek Defence Ministry`s clearance for any project within 50
kms of Border.

The civil administration said it was baffled by the
Army`s missive as this would mean entire Nyoma sub-division
would get affected in the matter of developmental work.

The state government had planned construction of seven
link-roads in Nyoma and Damchok areas to increase connectivity
and provide job opportunity to the people of this remote and
treacherous mountain region, which is close to the Line of
Actual Control.

The Chinese troops, which had carried out incursions
into Indian territory in June and July 2009, had also carried
out such an exercise in November 2009 also when its troops
threatened Indian workers to stop road construction in Ladakh.

The road construction was taking place in the Demchok
sector which was stopped after the Defence Ministry had raised
objections with the then Deputy Commissioner (Leh) AK Sahu
and asked them to stop the work.

The work on a link-road in Demchok in southeastern
Ladakh region was stopped last month after objections were
raised by the Chinese Army. Work on the road, which was to
connect two villages - the last inhabited areas on the LAC on Sino-Indian border in Demchok – was stopped during the last week of October 2009.

The road was being built under the Centrally-sponsored
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

In 2009, the Chinese Army had violated the International
Border in Ladakh region and painted boulders and rocks in the
area red.

The Chinese troops had entered nearly 1.5 kilometres
into the Indian territory on July 31 near Mount Gya,
recognised as International Border by India and China, and
painted the boulders and rocks with "China" and "Chin9" in red
spray paint.

The 22,420 ft Mount Gya, also known as "fair princess
of snow" by Army, is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in
Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its
boundary was marked during the British era and regarded as
International Border by the two countries.

Before this, Chinese helicopters had violated the
Indian air space on June 21 along the Line of Actual Control
in Chumar region and also heli-dropped some expired food.

Ironically, Chinese Army has done construction
activities along the International Border across Karakoram
ranges in Ladakh sector for the first time in 2009 after the
1962 stand-off between the two countries and a report of Jammu
and Kashmir government had claimed that Chinese have been
taking "land in inches and not in yards".

"They (Chinese) have threatened the nomadic people who
had been using Dokbug area (in Ladakh sector) area for grazing
since decades long, in a way to snatch our land in inches. A
Chinese proverb is famous in the world `better do in inches
than in yards," the report filed by a former Sub Divisional
Magistrate (Nyoma) Tsering Norboo had said.

Norboo had been deputed by the state government to
probe incursion of Chinese Army in Dokbug area and threatening
the local shepherds to leave the land as it belonged to them.
The area has been used by the shepherds to graze their
livestock as the area is warmer compared to other parts of
Ladakh.

India and China have been engaged in talks over the
Line of Actual Control and had exchanged maps in 2002.

In the western sector (East Jammu and Kashmir), the
Samar Lungpa area, between the Karakoram Pass and the Chipchap
river, is contentious, with Chinese maps showing the LAC to be
south of the Samar Lungpa.

This is the northernmost part of the border, far to
the north of Leh. But while the Indo-Tibetan Border Police
operates north of the line the Chinese claim to be the border,
they remain south of the Lungpa. South of the Chipchap River
are the Trig Heights, comprising Points 5495 and 5459.

Chinese troops frequently enter the area and in fact,
they have a name for Point 5459; Manshen Hill. The area,
south-east of Trig Heights, called Depsang Ridge is also
contentious.

Differences were found when Chinese small-scale maps
were interposed on large-scaled Indian ones.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 15:37

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