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Indian Army apprehends Chinese soldier who transgressed across LAC in Ladakh, second such incident in 3 months

The PLA soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC are being investigated, said sources
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 09 January 2021, 14:52 IST
Last Updated : 09 January 2021, 14:52 IST
Last Updated : 09 January 2021, 14:52 IST
Last Updated : 09 January 2021, 14:52 IST

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The Indian Army on Friday apprehended a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh after he transgressed the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto boundary between the two nations in the western sector.

An investigation is being conducted into the circumstances under which the Chinese PLA soldier crossed the LAC and transgressed into the territory of India, sources in New Delhi said. He is likely to be handed over to the PLA after questioning.

The Chinese PLA soldier was held “in the area south of (the) Pangong Tso lake” during the “early hours” of Friday and is being treated “as per laid down procedures”, sources said on Saturday.

“In the meantime, both sides have maintained communication at the ground level to avoid any misunderstandings and misjudgments even as discussions continue for achieving complete disengagement in all friction areas in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements to restore peace and tranquillity,” Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said on Friday.

The Army had earlier apprehended another PLA soldier at Demchok in eastern Ladakh in October last year. The soldier was handed over to the Chinese Army officials, who had claimed that he had, in fact, gone missing while helping local herdsmen find a yak along the China-India border.

China, too, in September 2020, had apprehended five youths from Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. They had accidentally crossed the McMahon Line, the de facto border between the two nations in the eastern sector, and had been handed over to the Indian Army a few days later.

The Indian Army had, in the same month, helped three citizens of the communist country after finding them stranded along the China-India border areas in north Sikkim.

The standoff between the neighbours along the LAC in eastern Ladakh started “due to unprecedented mobilisation and forward concentration” by the Chinese Army in late April and early May last year. Though diplomats and senior military commanders from both countries have held several rounds of talks over the past eight months, the standoff persists.

The senior military commanders of India and China have so far held eight rounds of talks to resolve the standoff, albeit without any significant breakthrough. The two sides are now in touch to schedule the ninth meeting.

The diplomats of the two sides have also held six meets via video conference under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), which was established in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for the management of flashpoints along the disputed boundary between the two neighbours.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also had meetings with their counterparts in the Chinese government, Wei Fenghe and Wang Yi, on the sideline of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Moscow in September last year.

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Published 09 January 2021, 09:18 IST

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