No Intrusion by Chinese Soldiers in Ladakh’s Demchok: Army Chief
Two reports say PLA soldiers entered when Tibetans hoisted their flag, while one says they didn’t infiltrate at all.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday, 13 July, said that there has been no intrusion by the Chinese in Ladakh's Demchok sector.
“There is no intrusion,” Rawat said on the sidelines of an event.
His statement came amidst reports said that Chinese soldiers entered five kilometres deep into Indian territory at Demchok sector of Ladakh division in Jammu and Kashmir last week.
“Chinese come and patrol to their perceived Line of Actual Control... we try and prevent them. But at times, there are celebrations that take place at the local levels. Celebrations were going on our side by our Tibetans in the Demchok sector. Based on that, some Chinese also came to see what was happening. But there have been no intrusions. Everything is normal,” the Army chief said.
Many versions of what exactly took place had emerged in different sections of the media.
WHO IS SAYING WHAT?
According to PTI, which cited officials based in New Delhi, the Chinese soldiers entered Indian territory after some Tibetans hoisted their flags on the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s birthday.
The officials said that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) personnel, on 6 July, went deep inside the Indian territory in their SUVs and protested against the hoisting of the flags by Tibetan refugees, who were celebrating Dalai Lama’s 84th birthday.
Indian Army personnel were present at the spot and did not allow the Chinese soldiers to proceed further, the officials had said.
After a couple of hours, the Chinese troops returned to their side, following an assurance by Indian Army officials that they would look into the refugees’ actions.
Meanwhile, a report by Times Now had said, “Chinese groups entered 6 kms inside the Indian territory at Demchok in Ladakh” and that a Chinese flag had been planted on Indian soil, sharing pictures of the planted flag.
The channel also spoke to the Demchok Sarpanch Urgain Chodon and quoted her as saying, “It is a place where people from three places come together to celebrate the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We used to put national flags as well as Tibetan flags and Buddhist flags. It never instigated anything. It seems they got instigated by this and came 6-7 kilometres inside our territory and planted their flags.”
Meanwhile, news agency ANI cited Army sources as saying, “Chinese Army didn't infiltrate. Their personnel wearing civilian clothes came in a civilian vehicle and stationed themselves on their side of Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Demchok area. At that moment, the villagers were celebrating the birthday of the Dalai Lama.”
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DEMCHOK
In July 2018, Chinese security forces had come 500 metres into Demchok and had set up tents, reports from the previous year had said. A stand-off had also reportedly taken place in the same area in 2014.
The Demchok region is identified as one of the 23 “disputed and sensitive areas” on the LAC.
India and China share a disputed border and the armies of the two countries were engaged in a stand-off for 73 days in Doklam in 2017.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI, Times Now and Scroll)
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