India has ceded land to China as both sides agreed to withdraw troops from the contentious area of Ladakh, according to foreign media reports.
The Guardian has reported citing locals and elected representatives near India’s border with China that buffer zones have been created in the area that was previously under Indian control.
Since 2020, both India and China have been involved in tense cross border dispute in the western Himalayas, however, the two countries started pulling their troops back after agreeing to deescalate the situation in top-level military meetings.
The Indian government had stated that the territory on both sides of the border – Line of Actual Control – has been restored to the pre-standoff period.
Konchok Stanzin, an elected councillor, has said that Indian troops were vacating areas which were not disputed at all. He also told that the areas where Indian troops used to patrol were now stationed with the Chinese troops. He said that India had ceded land after the 2021 agreement to withdraw from areas around Lake Pangong.
Stanzin further said that previously, their concerns were only Chinese incursions but now the land was given by the government happily, adding that they would lose more land with continuation of the same approach.
Rahul Gandhi, Congress’s leader, had also alleged that the Modi government had given 1,000 square kilometers of land to China without a fight.
The stand-off between India and China had started on May 5, 2020 and as the conflict intensified, both sides moved tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry to the area. A total of 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers had also died in hand-to-hand battle during a clash at that time.