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Ladakh: Local herders bravely confront Chinese troops stopping them from grazing, video wins hearts

A viral video video shows several Chinese armoured vehicles and soldiers on the spot, signalling the shepherds to leave. However, the herders bravely stood up to the Chinese troops, arguing that they were grazing on Indian territory and picked up stones to defend themselves.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Leh Published on: January 31, 2024 13:00 IST
Ladakh, Indian shepherds, Chinese soldiers, border dispute
Image Source : KONCHOK STANZIN/X Chinese soldiers attempted to stop Indian shepherds from grazing near the LAC.

Ladakh: As the border dispute between India and China lingers on, a group of shepherds in Ladakh were stopped by Chinese soldiers from grazing sheep near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Undeterred, the shepherds refused to budge and bravely confronted the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and told them that they were grazing on Indian territory.

A video of the exchange between local shepherds and Chinese soldiers on January 2 has gone viral on social media, winning hearts from all corners of the nation. According to reports, the shepherds had stopped grazing in the land after the Galwan Valley clash in 2020, but resumed their activities as it was essential for local nomads. 

The LAC is a key demarcation line separating the Indian and Chinese territories and contestations from both countries have caused episodes of violence between the forces of both sides. Luckily enough, the confrontation between the Ladakh shepherds and Chinese soldiers did not escalate into a violent brawl.

The video shows several Chinese armoured vehicles and soldiers on the spot, signalling the shepherds to leave. However, the locals refused to leave and argued with the soldiers that they were grazing on Indian land. Some shepherds also picked up stones to attack the soldiers in case of an altercation, although violence between the two sides was not seen in the video.

Sharing the video, Chushul Councillor Konchok Stanzin lauded the bravery of the local people towards Chinese soldiers claiming that they were grazing in Chinese territories. "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," he said on social media platform X.

Stanzin also praised the Indian Armed Forces for supporting the civilians in resolving the pressing issues with the Chinese Army, and credited them for enabling Ladakh nomads to stand up to the PLA troops. 

"It is heartening to see the positive impact made by @firefurycorps_IA in Border areas of Eastern Ladakh in facilitating the graziers & nomads to assert their rights in traditional grazing grounds along the north bank of Pangong. I would like to thank #IndianArmy for such strong civil-military relations & looking after the interests of the border area population," he said in another post.

India-China border dispute

India is pressing the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China to disengage from the Depsand and Demchok areas. While India has maintained that there cannot be restoration of normalcy in its relations with China as long as the state of the borders remains abnormal, China continues to press India to delink the border issue and bilateral relations and work for normalcy.

India-China relations remain frozen since May 2020 after the Galwan border clash, the most violent conflict between the two sides in 45 years, near the LAC. While 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the clash, the Chinese Army said only four of their troops were killed, but records suggest the toll may be higher.

The two militaries held 20 rounds of Corps Commanders level meetings and agreed to disengage from four points mainly the Galwan Valley, the Pangong lake, Hot Springs and Jianan Daban (Gogra) contributing to the de-escalating tension along the border, according to Wu. However, the meetings have so far not yielded a breakthrough.

The Chinese Defence Ministry recently said the border dispute with India was a "legacy issue" and does not represent the entirety of bilateral relations. Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian reiterated China's claim that the Galwan Valley lies on the Chinese side of the western sector along the LAC and blamed India for violating the consensus and made unilateral provocations.

(with inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | Army chief says situation stable at LAC, no friction in last year amid ongoing talks with China


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