A major Sino-India diplomatic row was averted after the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) released three Indian herdsmen near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Chumar sector of Leh district. In a fresh incident of Chinese incursion, the horsemen were detained by the PLA on December 5 when they were looking for their horses which had gone missing after grazing near the LAC. PLA troops released the three men after keeping them in custody for five days. Later Indian army contacted their counterparts on the other side of LAC and secured the release of the Indian herdsman. Police said the three men were released on December 11 after a flag meeting between the two sides at Chushul along the LAC.
The incident has come against the backdrop of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signing the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement with China. The agreement seeks to prevent any flare up between the armies along the LAC.
Against the backdrop of a fresh incident of incursion by Chinese troops, Defence Minister Antony today said such incidents cannot be ruled out. He, however, maintained that such issues were now resolved immediately in the wake of the signing of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement between the two sides in October. On the ongoing boundary resolution talks between the Special Representatives of the two countries, the Defence Minister said people should “not expect miracles” from them even though both sides have decided that till the time the issue is sorted out, they will resolve their issues amicably.