Defence Minister A.K. Antony gave the recently-signed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) the credit for quickly defusing the situation in Ladakh on the border with China.

“Don’t expect miracles in resolving the issue. What we are trying is that till a satisfactory solution on the boundary issue is found, whenever incidents take place on the border, through discussions and official mechanism, [we will] resolve those issues. Of late, we have been able to resolve issues without much delay. That is an improvement,’’ he said here on Monday, hours after China returned two Indians it had taken into captivity.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Vijay Diwas function, he said: “After the agreement, by and large, whenever any issue arises, we are able to resolve it as quickly as possible. It does not mean that there would not be any issue as long as the India-China border issue is unsettled. There can always be possibility.”

According to officials, a flag meeting was quickly organised and the PLA returned the two men who had apparently crossed over to the Chinese perception of the LAC to recover cattle. They said transgression to the other side of the LAC by cattle including even Yaks happen in both the eastern and western sectors, generally during snowstorms. Sometimes, the other side doesn’t bother, letting livestock breeders retrieve their cattle but make it a point to show the photographic evidence at the next border meeting. Often the cattle can’t be found and after the other side is told about it, efforts are made to locate and return it.

Mr. Antony said no miracles should be expected from the boundary resolution talks between the special representatives but this dialogue had led to both sides resolving to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border.

They were not forcibly taken away, says Army

The Indian Army on Monday denied that Chinese troops entered India in the Chumar area of Ladakh on December 4 and forcibly took away five porters and their mules. Reports in the media stated that the porters and animals were taken by the People’s Liberation Army in Chumar, along the Line of Actual Control, and released a week later on December 11.

The Army said: “Three Indians crossed the international border to retrieve their horses that had strayed across the border at Chumar. They were apprehended by the Chinese and returned after a flag meeting.”

The Army sources said the Indian nationals were apprehended by the Chinese only after they crossed the border. However, they were returned during the flag meeting at the Spangur Chinese BPM Hut on December 11.

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