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China’s PLA encroaching on Indian territory in Ladakh, not letting cattle graze, says BJP official

Nyoma block development council chairperson Urgain Chodon tweets video showing ‘PLA soldiers’ chasing a herd of cattle. Army sources say it’s an old video.

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New Delhi: Soldiers belonging to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) encroached on Indian territory in Ladakh and had blocked villagers’ cattle herds from grazing on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on 28 January, a local block development official from the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged Friday. 

Nyoma Block Development Council (BDC) chairperson Urgain Chodon also tweeted that a herdsman who went across the “undemarcated border” to retrieve his yak herd was held by the Indian Army and handed over to police.  

However, army sources said that a video put out by Chodon in the tweet appears to be an old one, “recorded during the summer season, as no snow can be seen”.

About the herdsman, the sources said that on 26 January, soldiers of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) observed a civilian coming over to the Indian side of the LAC from across and apprehended him.

“On questioning, the man claimed that he had gone across to get his yaks, yet there were no yaks in his possession. Since the statement of the civilian and his actions did not match, as a precautionary measure, he was handed over to the local police,” the sources said.  

Chodon had uploaded a 45-second video, showing multiple figures (who appear to be PLA soldiers) running after a herd of animals from a distance. The video has since received nearly 10,000 views, 200 likes and dozens of retweets on Twitter. 

Above the video, she claimed that PLA soldiers had intruded into Indian territory, barring herds from grazing, and how the herdsman who had crossed the border to get his yaks back was handed over to the police. 

In another tweet, she appealed “to the government to take serious consideration of this matter too”.

Chodon did not specify the exact location of the PLA’s alleged incursion in the video. 

ThePrint tried to contact Chodon over the phone, but didn’t receive a response till the time of publishing this report.


Also read: Did PLA soldiers freeze at the border? Chinese people searched it on Baidu 4 million times


Earlier red flags of Chinese incursions

Block development council officials as well as others in Ladakh have previously raised the issue of grazing rights of inhabitants on many occasions with the authorities and in the media over the years. 

In June 2020, after the violent standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies in the Galwan Valley, ThePrint had reported on the grievances of the villagers since 2015 against what they termed were constant Chinese transgressions across the LAC. 

Chodon had then alleged that the PLA had unfurled the China flag and barred the hoisting of Indian, Tibetan and Buddhist flags for the Dalai Lama’s birthday. 

The PLA had also threatened and warned locals against letting their cattle graze on what they considered as Chinese territory, she had said in a Facebook post. 

Other leaders associated with the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) such as Konchok Stanzin and Rigzin Spalbar had also alleged various incidents of Chinese incursion in recent years.

ThePrint had also reported in November 2021 that residents of the border village of Chushul had sought potential counters to these incursions, or “salami slicing tactics” by the PLA.

These included “infrastructure development, 4G connectivity, and permission for nomads to graze their livestock on traditional pastureland, from Hot Springs to Pangong Tso”. 

(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)


Also read: Are Chinese incursions ordered by local PLA heads or Beijing? Xi’s reforms hold answer


 

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