Chinese Soldier Captured in Ladakh's Demchok After 'Straying' into India, to Be Handed Back to PLA Later
India and China are embroiled in a tense standoff since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in several key areas. (Photo: Twitter, Eastern Command)
A soldier of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) was captured near the Demchok area of Ladakh on Monday after straying across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian Army said. The soldier has been identified as Wang Ya Long and is being provided with required medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes, it said.
"A PLA soldier identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long was apprehended in the Demchok sector of Eastern Ladakh on October 19 after he had strayed across the LAC," the Army said in a statement, adding a request has also been received from the PLA about the whereabouts of the missing soldier.
As per established protocols, he will be returned to Chinese officials at the Chushul–Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities, the statement added.
Government sources later said it may take a couple of days to send the soldier back.
This came amid the border tussle between India and China in the region. Both armies have deployed over 50,000 troops each along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, including in Demchok sector, following escalation of the five-month-long military standoff that began in early May.
The Army is questioning the soldier, who is said to be from the 6th Motorised Infantry Division, to see if he is on an espionage mission. Sources said he was carrying civil and military documents.
The solider claimed to have entered India to recover his yak, said the sources, adding he was alone and had no weapons. "If he has entered inadvertently, he will be handed back to the Chinese as per protocol," a source said.
In Beijing, state-run Global times quoted sources as saying China and India are currently communicating on the issue and the two sides are moving towards a solution. The incident will not cause new conflicts in the border areas, and solving the matter will also signal new progress in the bilateral negotiations, the sources said.
(With inputs from agencies)