‘Warlike situation’ prevails in area along border in Ladakh: councillor

‘We need land in Leh’, Chushul councillor Konchok Stanzin tells Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

A councillor of one of the villages along the China border in Ladakh on Thursday requested Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to allot alternative land for the border residents in Leh city as “warlike” situation prevailed in the area for the past one year.

Mr. Singh was in Chushul in eastern Ladakh to inaugurate a revamped war memorial.

Chushul’s councillor Konchok Stanzin handed a three-page letter to Mr. Singh where he also mentioned how the Indian Army blocked the locals from accessing certain grazing grounds while on the other hand the Chinese gave unfettered freedom to their nomads to move.

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“The villagers earn their livelyhood via their livestock by producing the world’s finest pashmina, yak wool, cheese and milk. The Chinese have given unfettered freedom to their nomads to move freely. They [Chinese], very often, use their nomads community to transgress on our land in a step-by-step approach. Sadly, the movement of the nomads belonging to this side of border are restricted by Indian Army from grazing their livestock on the traditional pastureland from Hot Spring, Finger Area to Kailash Range [Nyanlung Yokma/Gongma]. The nomads on the Indian side are soldiers without uniform,” Mr. Stanzin’s letter stated.

Stand-off at various points

Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in stand-off at various points in eastern Ladakh since April-May 2020. The troops have disengaged from the north and south banks of Pangong Tso (lake) and Hot Springs, creating “no-zones” in areas along the undemarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC) that was regularly patrolled by Indian troops pre-April 2020.

India and China have held 13 rounds of senior Commanders talks so far for complete disengagement from all the friction points but the meetings have remained inconclusive.

Mr. Stanzin’s letter stated, “what we have been observing since a year at border is unprecedented and it is completely a warlike situation … We never saw such situation ever at border, which creates insecurity among the people…. In order to give a safe shelter during warlike situation, we need land in Leh for border people keeping safety and security into consideration.”

He also sought 4G mobile connectivity in border villages of Phobrang, Yourgo, Lukung , Maan, Merak, Khakted , Satoo , Barma and Kherapullu. He suggested that a trading point with China be opened at Chushul, on the lines of what exists at Lipulekh in Uttarakhand and Nathu La in Sikkim.

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