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India, China end border standoff; withdraw troops from DBO sector

In a sudden development, India and China pulled back their troops from the stand off point at Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh, where the Chinese forces had intruded nearly three weeks back, official sources said on Sunday night.

A battalion of Chinese troops estimated at about 50 and accompanied by vehicles and dogs had intruded 19 km inside the Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Daulat Beg Oldi sector on 15 April and set up five tents.

The Indian troops had also established tented posts facing the Chinese forces at a distance of 300 metres. The troops of the two sides held four flag meetings, the last one being on Saturday . However, there was no positive outcome from these meetings, which went hand-in-hand with high level diplomatic efforts to break the impasse.

An agreement was reached late on Sunday for both sides to pull back their troops simultaneously from the face off point, which was completed at 1930 hours, the sources said. Indian and Chinese commanders at the local level shook hands before withdrawing, the sources said. However, it was not clear whether the Chinese would withdraw all the way back across the LAC to the position that obtained on 15 April as was demanded by India which pressed for restoration of status quo ante.

On 15 April, Chinese troops had intruded nearly 27 kms deep into the Indian territory but an early detection and aggressive patrolling by the security personnel posted in the sector managed to pull them back to the present position near the old patrol base in the DBO sector, which is still 19 kms from the LAC.

Under Sunday’s agreement, the Indian troops decided to move back to Burste, the point they were stationed at prior to 15 April.
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