China Again Adopts Aggressive Posture In Demchok, Threatens Labourers

China Again Adopts Aggressive Posture In Demchok, Threatens Labourers

28 August 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Mohinder Verma

Jammu: Notwithstanding China agreeing to maintain peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh region during the official-level talks held last month, the People Liberation Army (PLA) again adopted aggressive posture in Demchok area and forced suspension of work on irrigation canal being constructed by the Leh district administration. However, the Army, Civil Administration and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) got the work resumed within hours by assuring adequate security to the work force. Sources in the ITBP told EXCELSIOR that on August 25 a group of Chinese Army personnel appeared on the other side of the stream flowing in Demchok area and threatened the labourers engaged in the construction of irrigation canal against continuing work by showing them banners. Due to the aggressive posture adopted by the People’s Liberation Army, the workers immediately suspended work on the canal and left the area under fear, sources said, adding they immediately brought the matter to the notice of Army, Civil Administration and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The incident took place within few hours after the ITBP column returning from the Demchok after carrying out patrolling in the area in order to maintain sense of security among the labourers and the people residing in the belt along the Line of Actual Control, they said. “It seems that the PLA got irritated over the patrolling by ITBP jawans and its aggressive posture was aimed at ensuring that people of the belt and the labourers carrying out work on the irrigation canal remain gripped by the fear psychosis”, sources added. Soon after getting information about the incident, the Army, Civil Administration and the ITBP swung into action and got the work on irrigation canal resumed on the very same day by assuring adequate assistance to the labourers from security point of view, they said. “The immediate resumption of work was imperative because abandoning the ongoing project and leaving the area was fraught with the danger of Chinese Army making undue advantage of isolation of the area besides depriving the people of the benefit of the project”, sources further said. The irrigation canal is coming up in Demchok area under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of the Union Ministry of Water Resources at a cost of around Rs 3 crore. The project was sanctioned in 2010-11 and till date 50 per cent work has been completed. The project will benefit the populace of Demchok area by providing them irrigation water facilities. When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Leh, Simrandeep Singh confirmed that Chinese Army attempted to get the work on irrigation canal stopped by showing aggressive posture. He, however, said that within hours the work was resumed. Mr Singh refused to divulge any detail about the incident and the frequency of patrolling by the ITBP in the area. The recent aggressive posture by the Chinese Army is notwithstanding the neighboring country agreeing during the official level talks held last month to work for maintaining peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control. During the talks, both the sides had agreed to improve the functioning of the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border areas and make it more efficient. It may be recalled that in the recent past Daulat Beg Oldi sector, Demchok in south of Aksai Chin, Chumur and Pangong areas witnessed major incidents of the Chinese incursions. In Daulat Beg Oldi sector, the Chinese Army had adopted aggressive posture in the month of May and even pitched tents while as in Demchok area the Chinese troops got work on link-road stopped. In Chumur area, the Chinese Army ingressed 200 meters and even stopped Indian Army from patrolling the area.