December 7, 2021

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Winter grazing curbs leave LAC open to salami slicing by China, say Chushul villagers

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Winter grazing curbs leave LAC open to salami slicing by China, say Chushul villagers
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Winter grazing curbs leave LAC open to salami slicing by China, say Chushul villagers
Winter grazing curbs leave LAC open to salami slicing by China, say Chushul villagers

NEW DELHI: Loss of access to traditional winter grazing ground due to Army restrictions has left areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh vulnerable to salami slicing by the PLA and affected livestock rearing, the sole livelihood of nomadic inhabitants of the area who act as the ‘eyes’ of the forces against Chinese transgressions as the border standoff continues.
“The Chinese have given unfettered freedom to their nomads to move freely. They very often use their nomad community to transgress on our land in a step-by-step approach,” Konchok Stanzin, who represents Chushul area in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Council, said in a memorandum to defence minister Rajnath Singh during his November 18 visit to the area.
According to Stanzin, Indian nomads are restricted by the Indian Army from grazing their livestock on the traditional pastureland stretching from Hot Spring, Fingers (features on the north bank of Pangong Tso) to Nyalung Yokma and Nyalung Gongma, features on the south bank of Pangong that the Army refers to as Kailash range.
“Indian nomads are soldiers without uniforms. The army must trust them by not restricting their movement relating to grazing… The Chinese send livestock and then send soldiers in civilian clothes to pitch tents as herders to stake claim on our land. These traditional grazing areas are important and our nomads must be allowed to go there with their livestock,” Stanzin told TOI separately, referring to citing of Chinese yaks grazing in Tharsang valley north of Marsimik La, the gateway to Gogra-Hot Spring areas.
Government estimates peg the number of livestock at 79,250 in the Changthang area, requiring 4,775 quintals each of feed and fodder for 30 days through the winter. Stanzin said herders have lost access to Rechin La, Rezang La, Nyanlung Gongma, Nyalung Yokma, Black Top, Gurung Hill and Phurtsur Karpo. He pointed out that there are Indian sheep pens at the base of Gurung Hill in the Rezang La area, Phursut Karpo and Black Top.
People in the know said access has been restricted in the follow-up to the de-escalation process in the Pangong and Chushul areas, where both armies were eyeballing each other since the May 2020 bloody clashes in Galwan valley along the Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road India opened west of Chushul in 2019.
Access to winter pastureland is important as this is the time when livestock give birth and need adequate feeding to be able to survive the sub-zero temperature. “In summer, herders move their flock to inland meadows and valleys. But in winter, the alpine pastures along the LAC have the typical grass that sheep, goat and yaks sniff out from under snow to feed,” Stanzin said.

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