India has lost ‘substantial’ land to China: Official reportJanuary 11, 2010
NEW DELHI: The area along Line of Actual Control with China has “shrunk” over a period of time and India has lost “substantial” amount of land in the last two decades, says an official report.
At a recent meeting held in Leh which was attended by officials from the Jammu and Kashmir government, Ministry of Home Affairs and Army, it was agreed that there was difference in the maps of various agencies and that there was lack of proper mapping of the area.
The meeting was chaired by Commissioner (Leh) A K Sahu and attended among others by Brigadier General Staff of 14 Corps Brig Sarat Chand and Colonel Inderjit Singh.
While the absence of proper map was agreed upon, the meeting all the same felt, “however, it is clear and be accepted that we are withdrawing from LAC and our area has shrunk over a period of time.”
“Though this process if very slow but we have lost substantial amount of land in 20-25 years,” it was said at the meeting held last month.
According to the minutes of the meeting, it was also identified that “there is a lack of institutional memory in various agencies as well as clear policy on this issue which in long run has resulted in loss of territory by the India in favour of China.”
The meeting was called to ensure proper protection to nomads who move with their cattle to Dokbug area of Nyoma sector during the winter months every year. In December 2008, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had damaged their tents and threatened them to vacate the land.
“They (Chinese) have threatened the nomadic people who had been using Dokbug area (in Ladakh sector) area for grazing since decades long, in a way to snatch our land in inches. A Chinese proverb is famous in the world – better do in inches than in yards,” a report filed by former Sub Divisional Magistrate (Nyoma) Tsering Norboo had said.
Norboo was deputed by the state government to probe complaints of incursion of the Chinese Army in Dokbug area and threats to the local shepherds to leave the land as it belonged to them. The area has been used by the shepherds to graze their livestock as the area is warmer compared to other parts of Ladakh.
The SDM contended that it was another attempt by the Chinese to claim the territory as disputed in the same fashion as they had taken Nag Tsang area opposite to Phuktse airfield in 1984, Nakung in 1991 and Lungma-Serding in 1992.
The area of Dokbug and Doley Tango was frequented by shepherds and nomads from December to March every year during which their young lambs were capable to walk.
The SDM has also highlighted the fact that Army stopped these nomads from vacating the land. The nomads were terrified by the Chinese threats.
Last year, Chinese troops had entered nearly 1.5 km into the Indian territory on July 31 near Mount Gya, recognised as International border by India and China, and painted boulders and rocks with “China” and “Chin9” in red spray paint.
The 22,420 ft Mount Gya, also known as “fair princess of snow” by Army, is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its boundary was marked during the British era and regarded as International border by the two countries.
Before this, Chinese helicopters had violated Indian air space on June 21 along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region and also helli-dropped some expired food.