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Chinese soldier, held by Army after he strayed across LAC in Ladakh, handed back to PLA

India Today logo India Today 21-10-2020 India Today Web Desk
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A Chinese soldier, who was apprehended by the Indian Army in the Demchok sector of eastern Ladakh after he had strayed across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), was handed back to China on Tuesday night.

"Indian Army handed over the Chinese soldier Corporal Wang Ya Long to the Chinese Army at the Chushul Moldo meeting point, last night," news agency ANI wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

The Indian Army had on Monday said the soldier, a Corporal in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), would be returned to the Chinese military only after completion of formalities.

A Chinese corporal is equivalent to a Naik in the Indian Army. Sources said the PLA soldier was kept at an Army formation and interrogated after he was caught carrying civil and military documents.

"A PLA soldier identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long was apprehended in the Demchok sector of Eastern Ladakh on October 19 after he had strayed across the LAC," the Army said in a statement.

"The PLA soldier has been provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions," the Army added.

Both Indian and Chinese armies have deployed over 50,000 troops each along the LAC in eastern Ladakh including in the Demchok sector following the escalation of the five-month-long military standoff that began in early May.

The incident had occurred at a time when India and China are preparing to hold another round of Corps Commander-level military talks with a focus on carrying forward their discussions on the disengagement process in eastern Ladakh. The two sides have so far held seven rounds of high-level military talks on the border face-off.

India has all along been maintaining that the onus is on China to carry forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation at the friction points in the mountainous region.

(With inputs from PTI)

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