Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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The Guardian claims 2-year-old fought 1962 Indo-China, quotes Congress worker to make wildly incorrect claims about Pangong Tso and Galwan

Ever since India lost the 1962 Indo-China war, the Pangong Tso has been majorly controlled by the Chinese. Pangong Tso is still a delicate border point along the Line of Actual Control, where incursions have always happened.

The British daily – Guardian, who seems to be over-enthusiastic about interfering India’s affairs, on Saturday got caught spreading fake news regarding China ‘intruding’ and ‘capturing’ India’s territory during the ongoing stand-off between India and China.

In a hurry to discredit the Modi government, the British daily not only passed-off the claims made by a Congress worker as a local resident, without even referring to his political affiliation, to claim that China has occupied Indian terrorists but also went on to quote a 60-year-old individual, who according to Guardian had fought the 1962 India-China war, which was occurred 58 years ago.

In a news report titled, “Our pastures have been taken: Indians rue China’s Himalayan land grab”, Guardian made various assertions, a few backed by questionable data, to state that China has captured pasture lands in Ladakh.

In doing so, the Guardian reporters cited a person identified as Namgyal Durbuk, whose statements have been quoted extensively in their report to suggest India has lost large tracts of territory near Pangong Tso during the ongoing stand-off between two sides along the Line of Actual Control. However, in their attempt to put forward misleading claims, Guardian deliberately ignored to mention that Namgyal Durbuk is not only a local resident of Ladakh but also a worker of the Congress party.

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The Guardian, in its report, quotes Durbuk who stated, “The Indian government is lying that there is no land capture by China. Our vast green pastures, where local herders used to 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 villagers are scared by the presence of the Chinese forces. They are so close they can even see their lights in the night for the first time,” said Congress party worker Durbuk, who also claimed that India will lose entire Ladakh to China in the next 20 years.

However, the above statement of the Congress party worker claiming that Chinese troops entering and capturing troops at Galwan valley is untrue, as Prime Minister Modi had himself categorically stated that there was no intrusion by the Chinese soldiers in the Indian territory.

Interestingly, the Guardian report does not even once report that the Durbuk is a Congress party worker.

What surprising is the person – Namgyal Durbuk, is being featured by several media houses over the last several weeks claiming that the Indian government is lying about the border situation. He was also interviewed by journalist Barkha Dutt for her online venture Mojo, where he has been introduced as a former councillor of the Congress party.

Just yesterday, the Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi had tried to pass off Namgyal Durbuk as a local Ladakhi in his scripted interview. However, the former Congress President was caught by social media users for passing off Congress workers as Ladakhis to propagate his political propaganda, who also blamed him for resorting to low-level politics at such a critical time.

The Guardian makes fake, unsubstantiated claims regarding Pangong Tso

Continuing its half-truth stories, the Guardian went on to state that few former military commanders and locals said to them that India controlled the whole area i.e all the eight ridges around Pangong Tso also known as ‘Eight Fingers’, but Chinese troops have moved inside the areas in last two weeks and are now controlling four of the eight fingers. It stated that China was building a helipad and other infrastructure around Finger Four at Pangong Tso.

However,the Guardian did not put up any evidence to substantiate their above claim.

Further, the Guardian’s claim that India controlled all the eight ridges before the area prior to the stand-off and Chinese capturing Indian lands till Finger 4 is another misleading assertion.

Ever since India lost the 1962 Indo-China war, the Pangong Tso has been majorly controlled by the Chinese. Pangong Tso is still a delicate border point along the Line of Actual Control, where incursions have always happened.

In Pangost Tso, India claims that its territory extends from Finger 1 to Finger 8. However, China claims that its territory extends from Finger 1 to Finger 4. After Kargil, China had made roads from Finger 1 to Finger 4 and later, during the Congress regime, make pakka roads in the area. Both China and India patrol the Pangong Tso area and hence, to claim that any territory has been lost in the recent Galwan Valley stand-off is a complete misrepresentation of facts.

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the line separating Indian and Chinese troops since 1962 – generally runs along with the land except for Pangong Tso, where it runs through the water. India controls about 45 km stretch of the 135-km Pangong Tso and China the rest. 

India and China have differing perceptions regarding the LAC passing through the Pangong Tso. India has always maintained that the LAC passes through Finger 8, which has been the site of the final military post of China. The Indian troops have been patrolling these areas up to Finger 8 even today.

On the other hand, China claims that the LAC passes through Finger 1 and patrols till up to Finger 4.

By extrapolating PLA troops patrolling till Finger 4 as occupation by the Chinese is not only problematic but also untrue as Indian troops at Pangong Tso continues to patrol till Finger 8 even amidst the stand-off, which suggests that PLA troops have not ‘captured’ our territories till Finger 4 as claimed by the Guardian.

The Guardian spreads fake news, makes a two-year-old boy fight the 1962 India-China war:

The Guardian further quotes, a person identified as 60-year-old Tashi Chhepal, who according to them was a retired Indian army captain who fought the 1962 India-China war, to state that Galwan Valley was considered Indian territory then and there were no Chinese posts even close to it.

Image Source: Shiv Aroor

In a hurry to interfere with India’s internal affairs and to put misinformation in public domain regarding the ongoing stand-off between India and China, the Guardian made Tashi Chhepal, who is 60 year old currently, fight a war that took place 58 years back, making him the youngest soldier on the history.

After social media users pointed out their glaring error, the Guardian has now promptly deleted the claim they had made earlier.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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