Chinese troops apprehended three Indian nationals in Chumar area of Ladakh, but they were returned after the flag meeting.
“Civilians (and not army porters) were involved in the incident and the issue was resolved amicably by the army under the existing mechanism”, Army sources said here.
But there are inputs they were apprehended from Indian territory, in what is perhaps first such incident along the line of actual control (LAC) — and it was downplayed by the army sources.
Army sources said the three Indian nationals “had gone across the international border to retrieve their horses strayed across the international border at Chumar”.
“They were apprehended by Chinese but were returned after the flag meeting”, Army sources said.
The three Indian nationals along with their cattle were apprehended by the PLA troops around few kms inside the Indian territory in Chumar area and were taken to their camp across the LAC in an apparent bid to stake their claim on the area, they said.
The Army Headquarters sought to play down the incident saying that the matter was resolved “amicably” but sources said the Chinese side relented only after the local Indian Army authorities sought a flag meeting on the matter and warned that the issue would be raised at a higher level.
It is learnt that the local Army authorities on both sides established communication on the issue, they said.
The latest border incident has come after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement with China in October seeking to prevent any flare ups between the armies of the two countries on the LAC.
Defence minister AK Antony had recently warned that the new border pact does not guarantee that nothing will happen in these areas in future.
Chumar has been one of the most active areas on the LAC in terms of transgressions by the Chinese troops.