mandag 6. juli 2020

'Our pastures have been taken': Indians rue China's Himalayan land grab

Namgyal Durbuk knows the steep mountainous terrain of Ladakh like the back of his hand. But in the 45 years he has lived here, along the Indian state’s volatile and poorly defined border with neighbouring China, he has watched Indian land disappear before his eyes.

“The Indian government is lying that there is no land capture by China,” said Durbuk, a former councillor. “Our vast green pastures, where local herders used take their cattle, have been taken over. A number of locals have been forced by this situation to sell their cattle and move towards urban settlements for their livelihood.”

The fighting that broke out between Indian and Chinese troops on the Himalayan border last month was the worst assault between the two nuclear-armed nations since 1967. Hand-to hand combat between the two sides with rocks and spiked clubs, at an altitude of around 14,000ft (4,250m) in the inhospitable Galwan valley, saw 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops killed. It heightened tensions escalating since early May when China moved thousands of troops and artillery to disputed areas, including the strategic Galwan Valley.