Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a standoff at Demchok on Wednesday, a disputed area in central Ladakh, after about 50 Chinese soldiers objected to an irrigation canal being built by Indian wo
Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a standoff at Demchok on Wednesday, a disputed area in central Ladakh, after about 50 Chinese soldiers objected to an irrigation canal being built by Indian workers.
Around 55 Chinese troops arrived at the scene and halted the work in an aggressive manner, prompting the Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel to rush to the spot and stop the high-handedness of Chinese troops, sources said. A joint team of about 60 ITBP personnel and the Army is engaged in the face-off with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops.
Demchok, located about 250 km east of Ladakh’s capital Leh, was the scene of an earlier standoff in 2013 when Chinese troops objected to a similar construction under a rural employment guarantee scheme. The construction work was dismantled in 2015.
The flare-up came even as a super-heavy C-17 Globemaster made its first landing at the dusty Mechuka advanced ground in Arunachal Pradesh, just 29 km away from the Indo-China border. It’s a quantum jump from the existing capability of an AN-32 and C-130 J aircraft and would facilitate speedy transfer of men and material in this remote area.
Official sources said the Demchok issue could be resolved after a flag meeting between the two sides. A date for the flag meeting has not been decided yet till reports last came in.
The Chinese troops took positions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and demanded that work be stopped as either side needs to take permission before undertaking any work, a claim disputed by the Indian. While the LAC is the effective border between India and China, the border is largely un-demarcated.
The face-off also comes after a joint Indo-Chinese military exercise in eastern Ladakh on October 19, which was a sequel to an exercise on February 6 in eastern Ladakh’s Chushul Garrison. These exercises are seen as efforts complementing the ‘Hand in Hand’ series of joint exercises. This year’s edition will be held at Aundh, near Pune in Maharashtra, from November 15 to 27.