By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 5: An irrigation canal built by India in the remote border area in Demchok in the Indian side of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) was reportedly interrupted by Chinese army, resulting in a stand-off between the two sides.
Over 50 People’s liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and around 60 Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Indian Army personnel were involved in a face-off which has now been reportedly resolved.
The irrigation canal built in the Indian side of the border under the MNEGRA initiative was halted by Chinese troops aggressively on Wednesday morning (Nov. 2), following which Indian military also sent personnel to the spot. The land on which the canal was being built was claimed to be disputed by China leading to the development. An Indian official told India Times
that the canal from the Indian side has been completed and the troops from both sides have been sent back.
Indian Army’s Northern Command in its twitter handle mentioned, “#Eastern Ladakh. No Chinese incursion along the LAC. Issues relating to construction projects on both sides have been resolved in #BPM. “China also responded on the issue with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “I can tell you that the Chinese border troops have been operating on the Chinese side of the LAC.”
A day after the stand-off in Demchok, Indian Air Force landed a gigantic C-17 Globemaster aircraft, 30 kms away from the border, at the high altitude Mechuka Advanced Air Landing Ground in the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. Observers say that India may be sending signals that it will not back off from showing its might.
The Demchok area has seen skirmishes in the past with the construction of an irrigation canal in 2014 resulting in similar developments.
About 250 kilometers from Leh, the capital of Ladakh, Demchok is a village that falls near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) though the area is sparsely populated with no more than 35 households in total, apart from the military presence.