TTT New Delhi: China has once again been revealed as behind an unsightly plan to collect information on the deployment of Indian forces and arsenals in the Demchok area of Ladakh by sending a seemingly low-ranking corporal from the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) to the area.
The ‘corporal’ in question was, however, apprehended by the Indian army near one of its military encampments on Sunday morning, October 18th.
Senior members of the intelligence units of the Indian authorities, and Indian Army officers have since been interrogating the captured individual, identified as Wang Ya Long to find the motive behind his illegal presence in Ladakh.
It cannot be ruled out that he may be a Chinese spy sent on a mission to assess and gather intelligence on the deployment of Indian soldiers in the area.
Wang Ya Long had entered the heavily guarded military encampment in the Demchok sector in the district of Nyoma in the Union territory of Ladakh prior to being caught.
The ‘corporal’ has claimed that he had just strayed into the area.
But what is baffling to the Indian army is just how could he have wandered 18 kilometres across the border and into Indian territory straight into the Demchok sector – an area long targeted by Chinese troops for its strategic importance.
India would normally show its magnanimous policy of cooperation, goodwill, and ‘neighbours first’ by handing over such ‘lost’ Chinese soldiers after formalities are finalised.
Defence sources, however, say that in this case the PLA soldier was in fact in possession of a miniature compass, and that the statements he gave were contradictory.
And army sources say that he was overly analytical when responding to Indian interrogators.
The individual in question has a fair knowledge of areas around Demchok though he feigned ignorance on many occasions to recreate the track from which he ‘strayed’ it is understood. He is also believed to have kept silent on where he wanted to go before straying.
Soon, after a debriefing, though, he will be handed over to Chinese authorities who had earlier sent a message to their Indian counterparts informing them of the missing PLA soldier.
Chinese advances in this area have been recorded for the past 75 years, starting as early as 1955, when a new road linking Tibet to Xinjiang – 160km long and running through the Aksai Chin area in the north east of Ladakh was being laid – although repeated incursions have been kept under wraps by India.
The Demchok area is very important for China as during the month long 1962, war with India, Beijing initially secured the Demchok funnel precluding any attack on Rudok and Tashingong before finally winning the war.
China’s 75 year desire to capturing the entire Ladakh to push forward its unwanted supremacy in the Asia-Pacific region though, should by now have led it into isolation, but for the huge money Beijing has pumped into raising the economic development levels of neighbouring countries – many of whom now remain in a semi-subservient mode.
The Prime Minister’s Office has been briefed about the incident as has the Defence Minister.
At time of typing though, the Indian Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO), when contacted, passed responsibility for a response to his Army PRO counterpart who could not be contacted on his cellphone.