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Chinese soldiers intruded India posing as nomads in July

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, Aug 14: There has been some amount of activity reported at the Demchok sector by the Chinese. Troops of the People's Liberation Army had recently pitched five tents in the Demchok sector of eastern Ladakh.

    Chinese soldiers intruded India posing as nomads in July

    While three tents were removed after brigadier level talks, two still remain. The PLA soldiers, according to sources had come into Indian territory in the first week of July. They had posed as nomads with cattle and entered Indian territory, despite India conducting banner drills and telling them to go back.

    While three tents were taken down, the Chinese however complained that the Ladakh administration was attempting to construct a road in the Nerlong area.

    Meanwhile a parliamentary panel has suggested that India must encourage Bhutan to increase deployment of soldiers around the Northern Doklam area in the Sikkim sector to check Chinese activity.

    Also Read | How India solved the Doklam standoff

    The Parliamentary Panel on External Affairs, headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, felt that increasing the number of soldiers in North Doklam was important for safeguarding India's strategic interests in the region.

    The draft report, circulated among the panel's members on August 6, did not clarify whether the committee was favouring increasing the deployment of Indian troops in the region.

    Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector from June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped construction of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese army.

    Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam and both the countries have been holding talks to resolve the issue.

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    The parliamentary panel also suggested that India should remain alert and watchful in the Doklam area even though last year's face-off between Indian and Chinese armies was resolved peacefully.

    It is clear that China's Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) took advantage of absence of Bhutanese soldiers in Batangla-Merugla-Sinchela ridgeline, which is in Bhutan, the panel noted.

    Also Read | Revealed: This is what the Chinese are doing at Doklam

    Therefore, the committee recommends deployment of higher number of soldiers in Northern Doklam. India should encourage Bhutan for it so that the Chinese army could be stopped from pushing the limit of the tri-junction point, it said.

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi is a member of the 31-member panel, where a majority of the members are from the BJP.

    Some members of the committee travelled to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh to take stock of ground situations and meet senior officials there.

    Also Read | Why is China so aggressive on the Doklam standoff

    The panel has been briefed several times on the situation in Doklam by S Jaishankar, former foreign secretary, and his successor Vijay Gokhale.

    The foreign ministry officials had informed the panel that Bhutan was firmly with India on the issue, sources in the panel said.

    They said during discussions, Gandhi had questioned foreign ministry officials on China's objective and why Beijing chose Doklam to trigger a confrontation.

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