Indian government accused of ceding land in Himalayas to China

Aakash Hassan

Indian people living near the country’s disputed Himalayan border with China have accused their government of giving away swathes of land after both sides agreed to withdraw troops from some contested areas and create buffer zones.

Earlier this month, Indian and Chinese troops, who have been locked in a tense border dispute since June 2020, began to draw back from the contested area of Gogra-Hot Springs after an agreement was reached to disengage. The Indian government said the agreement restored the territory on both sides of the contested border, known as the line of actual control, to the “pre-standoff period”. In the newly created buffer zones, neither side will be allowed to patrol their troops.

Nevertheless, local Indian residents, elected representatives of the region and former Indian military officers who have served along the disputed border in Ladakh are claiming that the new “buffer zones” have been established in areas previously under Indian control.

Meanwhile, they allege Chinese troop positions remain either in contested areas or much inside the Indian territory. “Our army is vacating areas which were not disputed at all, while Chinese troops are stationed in the areas traditionally patrolled by India,” said Konchok Stanzin, an elected councillor from the region….