Nomads drive out PLA troops in Eastern Ladakh clash

| Updated: 31 January, 2024 2:10 pm IST

SRINAGAR : A group of fearless Ladakh shepherds boldly confronted Chinese soldiers attempting to hinder their sheep grazing near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Despite ceasing grazing in the aftermath of the 2020 Galwan clash, local shepherds resolutely stood their ground. A viral video capturing their verbal exchange with PLA troops, emphasizing their presence on Indian territory, has garnered widespread admiration on social media.

In the last three years, nomads in eastern Ladakh refrained from grazing animals in multiple areas near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Significantly, this marks the first occasion where they have asserted their grazing rights in the region, compelling PLA soldiers to withdraw.

The LAC serves as a delineation between Indian and Chinese territories, often sparking tensions due to differing perceptions and leading to conflicts. In this particular instance, fortunately, the situation was peacefully resolved without resorting to violence.

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Chushul councillor Konchok Stanzin commended the resilience exhibited by local shepherds and expresses gratitude to the Indian army for their support. In a post on X, he lauded the positive influence of @firefurycorps_IA in the border areas of Eastern Ladakh, enabling graziers and nomads to assert their rights in traditional grazing grounds along the north bank of Pangong. Stanzin extends thanks to the #IndianArmy, highlighting the robust civil-military relations and their commitment to safeguarding the interests of the border area population.

In a separate post, Mr. Stanzin shared a link to the Instagram video capturing the incident, reportedly occurring earlier this month.

He wrote “See how our local people are showing their bravery in front of the PLA claiming that the area they are stopping is our nomad’s grazing land. PLA stopping our nomads from grazing in our territory. Seems it is never a never-ending process due to different lines of perceptions. But I salute our nomads, who always stand to protect our land and stand as the second guardian force of the nation”.

The footage reveals a presence of at least three Chinese armored vehicles and multiple soldiers at the location. The vehicles emit an alarm, seemingly indicating the shepherds to vacate the area. Undeterred, the shepherds hold their position, engaging in verbal disputes with PLA troops. Firm in their stance, they assert grazing rights on Indian territory. At times, tensions escalate, and some shepherds are observed picking up stones, yet the video does not capture any outbreak of violence. Notably, the Chinese soldiers depicted in the video are unarmed.

India and China have been entangled in a boundary dispute resulting in frequent skirmishes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). A significant clash occurred in Galwan Valley in 2020, leading to the loss of 20 Indian soldiers. China asserts a toll of 4 soldiers, but reports suggest a higher casualty count. Following the escalation, both nations have engaged in numerous military and diplomatic meetings in efforts to sustain peace.

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