Face-off at Leh ends as India finishes work on irrigation project

Chinese troops had taken positions, demanding that work on the irrigation project be stopped

November 05, 2016 01:34 am | Updated December 02, 2016 01:30 pm IST - New Delhi:

The face-off between the Indo Tibetan Border Police Force and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the Line of Actual Control in Leh’s Demchok area ended on Thursday night after an irrigation project, to which the Chinese had objected to, was completed.

The stand-off ended hours before National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Hyderabad to discuss measures to improve bilateral ties.

As first reported by The Hindu , around 50 Chinese Army personnel had come close to the Indian side of the LAC on Wednesday afternoon and refused to go back as they objected to an irrigation project under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) where work for linking a village with ‘Hot spring’ was under way.

“The stand-off ended on Thursday night. We managed to complete the irrigation project we had undertaken. They left after being told that the canal had been laid,” said a senior government official.

An eyeball to eyeball situation persisted at Demchok for the past two days.

The Chinese troops had taken positions and demanded that work be stopped as either side needs to take permission before undertaking any work, a claim disputed by the Indian side, which says that as per the agreement between the two countries, information about construction needs to be shared only if it was meant for defence purposes.

Army fortifies area

There were nearly 70 ITBP personnel there and the Army had fortified the area and prevented their march deeper into the Indian territory, the official said.

This is the first time since the 2014 incident when the Chinese Army had come deep inside the Indian territory in Demchok to protest an ongoing irrigation project.

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