Ahead Of Chinese President's Visit, Tension Escalates On LAC In Ladakh

16 September 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Mohinder Verma

Jammu: Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's three-day visit to India beginning tomorrow, tension has escalated on Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China in South Ladakh with flag meeting between armies of two countries ending in a deadlock. Highly placed sources told EXCELSIOR that face-off between civilians of India and China at Demchok continued for the 10th day today with Chinese nomads pitching the tents on the other side of a nullah and refusing to leave the area in protest against execution of irrigation project by the Leh district administration. 'Even People's Liberation Army personnel are stationing in the area to provide support to their civilians in continuing face-off with the Indian civilians', sources said, adding 'even the Ladakhis have made it clear that they would continue to respond to the Chinese nomads in the same manner and they are being provided full support by the Indian Army'. The face-off at Demchok was actually started after the Indian Army objected to the construction of a road by the China in Chumur area several days back. 'As per the agreements reached between India and China and reiterated at a number of forums none would try to make use of the disputed territories but in violation of the same China started road construction work in Chumur area', sources informed while justifying the objection of Indian Army. Instead of stopping road construction work, People's Liberation Army instigated Chinese nomads to engage in face-off with the Ladakhis in Demchok and for the same they provided all logistics to the nomads, sources said. The opposition by the Chinese nomads to the use of nullah water by Demchok people for irrigation purpose has no ground as they (Chinese nomads) have also been making use of the same, they added. Amidst continuous face-off at Demchok, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) yesterday called a flag meeting with the Indian Army with the condition that senior level officer must lead the team. Generally, Colonel level officer(s) participate in the flag meeting but this time Major General led Army team reached Chushul for the meeting. 'The flag meeting, which started in the afternoon, continued till 10.30 in the night but without any fruitful result with both the sides remaining stick to their respective stand', sources informed, adding 'during the meeting Indian Army reiterated its stand that road construction would not be allowed because the area is disputed'. Finding strong resistance from the Indian Army, the PLA opened another front for face-off at Chumur while continuing the same at Demchok thereby escalating tension all along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that too at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping's is visiting India for three days from tomorrow. In Chumur area, both Chinese PLA and Indian Army remained engaged in close face-off for quite long time during the day today. Later, more reinforcement was rushed to the area to effectively counter PLA's designs. Notwithstanding escalation in tension, both Army and district administration Leh remained tight lipped over the matter. Despite repeated attempts, the senior officers of Army and civil administration did not respond to the telephone calls. However, Member Parliament from Ladakh, Thupstan Chewang termed the PLA action as a 'mean move' ahead of Chinese President's visit to India. 'Chinese Army has pushed its civilians to force us to stop work on a canal which is being built well within our territory', he said while expressing surprise over the fresh incursion from the PLA. He urged the Centre to take up the matter with the Chinese President during his visit so as to bring an end to the face-offs and unnecessary interference from the PLA. It is pertinent to mention here that EXCELSIOR had on September 13 exclusively reported that China has adopted new modus operandi of using its nomads for face-off with India on Line of Actual Control. It is for the first time that both Army and civil administration besides civilians are giving befitting reply to the Chinese nomads and PLA by responding them in the language they understand.