Chinese and Indian soldiers have been in a standoff since November 2 over the construction of an irrigation canal to link a village with a hot spring in Demchok sector, 250 km from Leh. On November 3, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers came and literally stopped the construction work on the MNREGA site.
Around 55 PLA soldiers halted the MNREGA work in a harsh manner along the Line of Actual Control. Immediately, around 70 Indian soldiers strengthened the said area and prevented the PLA’s march deeper into Indian territory.
They said work be stopped as either side needs to take permission before undertaking any construction work. India, on its part, said that information about projects (if it is meant for defence) needs only to be shared.
Interestingly, the Army’s Northern Command tweeted, “No Chinese incursion across LAC. Issues relating construction projects on both sides of LAC being resolved in border personnel meetings.”
According to media reports, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup was of the opinion that even if the incident may have taken place, they should not be sensationalised. However, there are mechanisms to resolve such problems.
The tension between India and China comes a day before National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is to meet the Chinese NSA at Hyderabad on November 4.
The incursion is also an apparent Chinese counter to the Indian government’s decision to allow the Dalai Lama to travel to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, despite China’s reservations.
Meanwhile, the IAF landed its giant C-17 Globemaster, one of the largest transport aircraft in the world, at the Advanced Air Landing Ground at Mechuka in Yargyap river valley of Arunachal Pradesh, near the border with China. The titan landed on a short runway, to show that IAF aircraft could reach to the interior areas of the country.