Ladakhins complain of Chinese incursion

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Leh, Sep 8 (ANI): With fresh reports of incursion in Ladakh region, residents complained that Chinese troops frequently intrude into Indian territory and even threaten Indian shepherds.

Tashi Tundup, in-charge of Chumur monastery in Chumur village, said he has several times complained to the Indian authorities.

"We want to say that residents of Chumur and Phu (grazing areas) complain that they often face problems because the Chinese raise objections to them for visiting these areas and say that it is their territory. I have several times given in writing also to GOC (General Officer Commanding of Indian troops) and others asking them to provide security to the people of Gumpha and Chumur areas," said Tundup.

"We, the people of Chumur, do transactions through Gompa (a place having antique Bhuddhist worship place). And people complain several times of being pressurised by the Chinese. They ask for a solution, we cannot speak on the issue much because of involvement of both Indian and Chinese governments. But we have assured the locals that the Indian government is concerned for them and would take up the matter for their welfare," he added.

Officials sources have said that Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 kilometres into the Indian territory near Mount Gya, which is recognised as the international border by India and China, and painted the word 'China' in Cantonese on the boulders and rocks there with red spray paint. The incursions were reported from the area generally referred in the Chumar sector in east of Leh.

The 22,420 ft Mount Gya, also known as "fair princess of snow" by the Army is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its boundary was marked during the British era and is regarded as International border by the two countries.

The border patrol discovered the red paint markings on various rocks and boulders along the Zulung La (pass) on July 31 and the Chinese had entered into the area and written "China" all over the place, the sources said.

Indian soldiers later erased the text, writing 'India' instead.

This is not the first such reported intrusion. On June 21 Chinese helicopters had violated the Indian air space along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region. The Chinese troops also reportedly dropped expired tinned food packets in the area.

Some people blame the problem of Chinese incursions on lack of infrastructure.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S. M Krishna ought to play down the alleged incursion by a Chinese helicopter in Ladakh, saying that there is an inbuilt mechanism to deal with it.

Talking to reporters outside his South Block office, Krishna said: "This (India-China boundary in Ladakh) is one of the peaceful boundaries. We have no dispute with China in this area. There is an inbuilt mechanism to deal with such issues.

Krishna's remarks came as the Indian Army said that its Northern commander, Lt. Gen. P. C. Bhardwaj will visit the Leh-based 14 Corps headquarters over the next few days to verify reports of Chinese incursion in the Ladakh area.

Krishna and other sources said the matter would also be raised at the next border meeting between Indian and Chinese officials. (ANI)

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