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Chinese troops object to MNREGA irrigation project in Leh

The stand off reportedly started when a group of around 55 Chinese Army personnel forcefully stopped the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act project in the Demchok sector of Leh
File : Indian army soldiers keep watch at the Indo-China border

Indian troops have reportedly been locked in a stand-off with the Chinese Army in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control in Leh’s Demchok area since Wednesday, The Hindu has reported.

According to the report, 50 Chinese Army personnel had come close to the Indian side of the LAC and refused to go back. The Chinese side is objecting to an irrigation project under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to link a village with a ‘hot spring’. This had prompted Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel to rush to the spot to intervene. However, the Indian Army played down the media reports.

“[There are] routine objections and clarifications which either party seek whenever there is construction related activity. The issue is being resolved through established mechanisms,” an Army official told NDTV on Thursday.

“No Chinese incursion across LAC. Issues relating construction projects on both sides of LAC being resolved in BPM,” the Army’s Northern Command said in a tweet. They are believed to have said the construction work could not continue because the project did not have the requisite permission from Beijing.

Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said even if an incident may have happened, it would be resolved through established mechanisms, and added that it should not be “sensationalised”.

“I am not specifically aware of any such incident but even if something like this has happened, there are, as you know, established mechanisms to handle such situations as a result of which in the recent past at least our border with China has been free of any major incident. I would urge lets not sensationalise things out of context,” he said.

The countries share around 4,000 km of disputed and unsettled boundaries running from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. In 2014, an irrigation project under the MNREGA scheme in the area led to a similar situation after the PLA raised objections against it.

 

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