'Chinese soldiers enter Demchok sector in Ladakh, go back later'

Chinese soldiers crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh division of Jammu and Kashmir last week after some Tibetans hoisted Tibetan flags on the occasion of Dalai Lama’s birthday, security officials said on Friday.

The officials in the know said several PLA personnel drove in their SUV’s into Koyul village in Demchok sector, located close to the LAC, on July 6 and lodged a protest over hoisting of the Tibetan flags by the refugees settled there.

They, however, said since the LAC was not demarcated properly for decades, this has led to differing perceptions of it by India and China.

There was another version of the incident on the LAC with South Block sources saying the Chinese personnel, who were in “civilian clothes”, did not cross the LAC but showed banners that read “Ban all activities to split Tibet”.

“On July 6, some 11 Chinese in civilian clothes arrived in two vehicles when the Ladakhi villagers were celebrating Dalai Lama’s birthday. They then showed them banners and waited there for 30-40 minutes but did not cross the Line of Actual Control,” the sources said. The Tibetans were celebrating the 84th birthday of the Dalai Lama.

Indian army personnel were also present at the spot and did not allow the Chinese soldiers to proceed any further, the officials said.

The PLA personnel entered 1.5 km into the Indian territory, they said. Earlier, the officials claimed that the Chinese soldiers had entered 5 km.

After a couple of hours, the Chinese troops returned to their side following an assurance by Indian army officials that they would look into the action by the refugees. There have been also reports of Chinese soldiers stopping the shepherds from grazing their sheeps in Demchok sector.