Troops from India and China are engaged in a stand-off since Wednesday in Ladakh’s Demchok area as the troops of Chinese People’s liberation army (PLA) have entered an area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and have stopped the construction work on an irrigation canal under MNREGA.
Official sources say that local administration is constructing an irrigation canal to link a village with the ‘Hot Spring’ in Demchok, 250 km’s east of Leh.
According to sources, at around 10: 55 hours on Wednesday, there was a face-off between Indian Army and PLA at ‘Hot Spring’ place, located in general area of Demchok which continued till night.
In the morning, the Chinese troops again came to the LAC as soon as the engineers started laying the water pipes and the face-off was continuing, the sources said.
The Chinese troops took positions on the perceived Line of Actual Control (LAC) and demanded that work be stopped as either side needs to take permission from each other before undertaking any construction work, a claim disputed by India which says that as per the agreement between the two countries, information about construction needed to be shared only if it was meant for “defence” purposes.
Sources say that Around 55 Chinese soldiers arrived on the scene and halted the work in an “overtly aggressive manner”, prompting the Indian army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel to rush to the spot and stop the Chinese troops in the area.
The area had witnessed a similar incident in 2014 after it was decided to construct a small irrigation canal at Nilung Nalla under the MNREGA scheme that had been a sore point with the Chinese. The Chinese had mobilised villagers from Tashigong to pitch Rebos (tents) at Charding-Ninglung Nallah (CNN) Track Junction to protest Indian action.
To avoid further tensions ITBP has asked for a flag meeting with their Chinese counterparts.