A day after Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat said the transgression in Arunachal Pradesh, where Chinese workers were reportedly said to have entered Indian territory to construct a road, was successfully resolved, India has agreed to return the seized equipment. Beijing too has agreed to stop the road construction work, reported The Times of India.
The report mentioned that China reacted "maturely" to the Indian side's contention that they had transgressed into Indian territory, a position unlike the belligerence shown by Beijing during the Doka La standoff last year. "They assured us they will take care to ensure their construction personnel do not cross over into our side again," an officer was quoted as saying in The Times of India report.
A Chinese road construction party entered India on 28 December, 2017, and were constructing a track, around two kilometres away from the nearest Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) post. An almost 600-metre-long and 12-foot wide track was constructed on the Indian territory when the Chinese party was stopped.
Chinese labourers had entered the area inadvertently, according to a government report on the incident. The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops were not involved in the incident. However, Indian troops pushed back the labourers and seized their equipment, a report on news agency IANS said.
A separate report on PTI quoted sources as saying civilian teams came for track alignment activities and returned when confronted by Indian troops, leaving behind various road building equipment including excavators. According to local villagers in Arunachal Pradesh, the Chinese team members included civilians as well as uniformed personnel.
Nyomin Tekseng of Zido village near the frontier and Pema Nyisir of Gelling village said two excavators have been confiscated. "The road cutting is also clearly visible from the right bank of Siang river at Gelling which is about 7-8 kilometres by aerial distance from the site. Indian and Chinese troops had pitched tents at the freshly cut road and had erected a boulder wall," Nyisir said.
The villagers informed a local policeman, who in turn alerted the ITBP deployed in Medog, near Bishing. The ITBP personnel reached the spot and asked the Chinese personnel to return. There was reportedly an exchange of words but the Chinese refused to yield.
The Indian Army also sent a patrol to the faceoff site, where it continues to stay. Though the site is part of the ITBP's area of responsibility, there is heavy army deployment as well in the region.
Road alignment and construction bids as well as troop transgressions across the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), which stretches from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, are highly unusual in the winter, The Times of India added, mentioning that the recent transgression can be an indication of the heightened tensions between the two armies since Doka La.
The earlier standoff took place between 16 June to 28 August last year at Doka La near the tri-border junction between India, China and Bhutan. Earlier, speaking at an event in New Delhi, Rawat had said the "Tuting incident has been resolved". He also said a Border Personnel Meeting took place two days ago on the issue.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jan 09, 2018 08:48 AM