A Chinese soldier was apprehended in the early hours of January 8 on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Contro l (LAC) in the area south of the Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh, the Army said on Saturday.
“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier had transgressed across the LAC and was taken into custody by Indian troops deployed in this area. The PLA soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC are being investigated,” an Army statement said.
Troops from either side are deployed along the LAC since a stand-off erupted in May last year due to “unprecedented mobilisation and forward concentration by Chinese troops”, the Army added.
In a similar incident in October last year, a Chinese soldier identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long was apprehended in the Demchok area and was later handed over to the PLA.
The Defence Ministry recently said that the Army has completed “Advance Winter Stocking” and winter preparations and troops are “well entrenched to counter any misadventure by Chinese forces”. With temperatures plummeting to minus 30 degrees Celsius and set to go down further, both sides have dug in for harsh winter.
In a pre-emptive move on August 29 and 30, the Army took control of some unoccupied heights in the Chushul sector from Thakung to Rechin La within the Indian perception of the LAC, foiling the PLA’s attempts to dominate the heights and change the status quo. Since then, both sides have deployed troops and tanks in close proximity of just a few hundred metres in this area.
The Army has deployed around 50,000 troops in addition to tanks and other equipment along the disputed boundary in eastern Ladakh to match the Chinese deployments since the beginning of the stand-off.