Chinese soldiers enter Demchok sector in Ladakh, protest over Dalai Lama's birthday

South Block sources said 11 Chinese personnel, who were in “civilian clothes”, did not cross the LAC but showed banners with a message written in Mandarin that read, “Ban all activities to split Tibet

Published: 13th July 2019 01:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2019 10:43 AM   |  A+A-

In this July 30, 2017 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops perform a flag raising ceremony for a military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA on August 1 at Zhurihe training base in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. China has said it is planning a small scale military operation to expel India troops from the disputed area of Doklam in the border between India, China and Bhutan after a weeks-long standoff.  (Pang Xinglei/Xinhua via AP)

The Chinese army. (File | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Chinese soldiers protested along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, last week after some Tibetans hoisted Tibetan flags on the occasion of Dalai Lama’s 84th birthday, sources said on Friday.

Sources said the PLA personnel drove in their SUVs into Koyul village in Demchok sector, located close to the LAC, on July 6 and lodged a protest over hoisting of the Tibetan flags by the refugees settled there.

South Block sources said 11 Chinese personnel, who were in “civilian clothes”, did not cross the LAC but showed banners with a message written in Mandarin that read, “Ban all activities to split Tibet”.

They, however, said since the LAC was not demarcated properly for decades, this has led to differing perceptions of it by India and China.

They stayed there for 30-40 minutes.

Old China hand and strategic analyst Major General B K Sharma (Retd) said the incident could be a subtle message from the Chinese.

“Had they been in PLA uniform, it would have been viewed as a provocation. But they could be men of the Chinese Psy-Ops division marking their protest,” he said.

"On July 6, some 11 Chinese in civilian clothes arrived in two vehicles when the Ladakhi villagers were celebrating Dalai Lama's birthday. They then showed them banners and waited there for 30-40 minutes but did not cross the Line of Actual Control," the sources said.

The Tibetans were celebrating the 84th birthday of the Dalai Lama.

India and China share a disputed border and the armies of the two countries were engaged in a stand-off for 73 days in 2017 in Doklam.

Security officials said that the officers on both sides decided to resolve the matter amicably.

Indian army personnel were also present at the spot and did not allow the Chinese soldiers to proceed any further, the officials said.

The PLA personnel entered 1.5 km into the Indian territory, they said.

Earlier, the officials claimed that the Chinese soldiers had entered 5 km.

After a couple of hours, the Chinese troops returned to their side following an assurance by Indian army officials that they would look into the action by the refugees.

There have been also reports of Chinese soldiers stopping the shepherds from grazing their sheeps in Demchok sector.

(With PTI Inputs)

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