New Delhi: The Indian Army apprehended a Chinese soldier on Friday morning on the South bank of Pangong Tso lake in Eastern Ladakh where India and China are involved in a tense military stand-off from the last eight months.
“The PLA soldier had transgressed across the LAC and was taken into custody by Indian troops deployed in this area,” said Indian Army on Saturday.
“The PLA soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC are being investigated,” the Indian Army said in a statement in which it also mentioned that troops from both sides are deployed along the LAC since friction erupted last year due to unprecedented mobilisation and forward concentration by Chinese troops.
Sources said the Chinese soldier is being questioned to know whether he accidentally crossed over or was trying to spy.
Chinese state-owned media Global Times said that China has called for an immediate return of the soldier, who it claimed went missing due to “darkness and complicated geography”. It further claimed that China had informed India as soon as the incident occurred, and sought help from the Indian side.
The incident has happened at a time when there has been no breakthrough in talks on disengagement between India and China despite eight rounds of Corps Commanders meeting between the two sides. Due to differences, there has been no further rounds of Corps Commanders meeting since November 6.
The soldier was caught near Gurung Hill, one of the peaks in Kailash range which Indian Army had pre-emptively occupied in August in tit-for-tat action against Chinese aggression on the North bank of Pangong Tso. The move meant that Indian soldiers dominated peaks in the area and had choked PLA movement in the sector.
Earlier in October, the Indian Army had apprehended a Chinese soldier in Demchok sector of Eastern Ladakh, who was returned back.