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Chinese trio held by Indian troops near Line of Actual Control

Leh (J&K), June 30, 2013 (PTI): 16:24 IST
A tourist stands on a hilltop overlooking Leh city from Namgyal Tsemo Gompa monastery in Leh, capital of Ladakh. Reuters
After dealing with the PLA incursion last month, army personnel have now apprehended three persons of Chinese origin along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) carrying political maps in Arabic language in the same area.

The three men, identified as Adil, Salamo and Abdul Khaliq, were nabbed inside the Indian territory on June 12 near Sultanchku and it took nearly 10 days for the authorities to make them give their name, official sources said.

All the three men are Sunni Muslims aged between 18 and 23 with fair complexion but their language was not comprehensible, they said.

The three men -- one of whom is one-eyed -- were at present in the custody at Murgo post and efforts were on to comprehend their language which did not have any similarity with either Chinese or Balti spoken in Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir's Baltistan.

It was also not clear where from they had come as the nearest habitation across the LAC was in North of Karakoram range. Authorities are working on the possibility that they could have entered through either Raki Nallah, Jeevan Nallah or North of Daulat Beig Oldie, where Indian and Chinese troops had a face-off for nearly 21 days from April 15 to May five.

The three men, who are well built, cannot be interrogated until they are brought to Leh town where translators could be used to understand their language, the sources said.

There was a possibility that the language could be Yarkandi spoken in Xinjiang province, close to Pakistan- occupied-Kashmir and touches DBO tip in north of Ladakh. The area has a huge Uyghur population.

Both summer and winter road connectivity to this post were cut off due to bad weather in Ladakh region this year. Now the authorities have sought permission to airlift the trio to Ladakh for a detailed questioning.

The Home Ministry had written to the Defence Ministry seeking clearance for a helicopter to ferry the trio, the sources said, adding that it was still awaited.

The three men were carrying a big political map and two smaller versions of the document with Arabic script on it. Besides this, they were carrying improvised swords and knives, tinned food including egg powder (useful in higher region), Chinese currency of over 900 Yuan and Chinese leather jackets.

According to the laid down procedure along the LAC, the custody of any accused apprehended in the area has to be with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and interrogation can be carried out by central security agencies.

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