Saturday, December 5, 2009

Incursions by Chinese nomads on rise

Leh, December 4

After media reports of China objecting to the construction of a link road near Demchok in eastern Ladakh on the China border, the councillors of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, representing border areas have revealed that the local nomads have always feared a Chinese incursion.

Dorjey Stanzin, Executive Councillor for Education, who represents the Tangtse constituency of eastern Ladakh, says, “Incursions into Ladakh by Chinese nomads were first noticed. The nomads entered the Indian territory for grazing by their animals two or three times. Later, the Chinese army occupied these pastures by pitching tents there.”

He says, “This kind of incursions has increased with the reopening of Nyoma and Daulat Beg Oldi advance landing ground airports along the China border.” Nyoma and Daulat Beg Oldi were closed after the 1962 war, but were reopened last year.

Dorjey says, “Local nomads complained to me in October that Chinese nomads were seen with their animals grazing on their pasture lands at Dumcheli and Skagjung sectors on the Indian side. Local people were upset as these were reserved pastures for winter.”

The Chinese army has also occupied some main pastures in the recent years. Dorjey says, “Hot Spring near Changchenmo in the Durbuk block, Jagvan 2 near Daulat Beg Oldi airport, where Indian Army porters used to camp, and Dumcheli are now occupied by the Chinese army. They also have constructed a shopping complex at Dumcheli.”

Councillor Chotar Tsering, who represents the Korzok constituency of south eastern Ladakh, says, “The Chinese army in 2006 threatened the local nomads to vacate the Chumur sector. When the locals claimed ownership over the land, the Chinese army demanded the ownership proof.”

Tsering adds, “To counter their claim, revenue land record has now been distributed to each and every nomad of the Chumur sector.”

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