Amid the ongoing border talks with China, the Indian Army on Monday, handed back a recently-apprehended People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldier to China. The PLA soldier was apprehended by Army at the Indian side of the LAC in Ladakh in the South of Pangong Tso lake area. The Army had confirmed that the PLA soldier had transgressed across the LAC; he was taken into custody and was questioned over the circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC. As per laid down procedures, medical examination was done before handover. As per the Army's statement, the PLA soldier was handed back to China at Chushul-Moldo at 10.10 a.m.
The Army released a statement which read, "During the early hours of 8 January 21, a Chinese soldier was apprehended on the Indian side of the LAC, in Ladakh, in area South of Pangong Tso lake. The PLA soldier had transgressed across the LAC and was taken into custody by Indian troops deployed in this area. Troops from either side are deployed along the LAC since friction erupted last year due to unprecedented mobilisation and forward concentration by Chinese troops. The PLA soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC are being investigated".
On December 18, the 20th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) took place between India and China. The developments along the Line of Actual Control were reviewed and both sides agreed to work towards ensuring complete disengagement as per the agreements reached between the respective Foreign Ministers and Special Representatives. On this occasion, they consented to maintain the close consultations at the diplomatic and military level and also agreed that the next round of senior military commanders should be held at an early date so that peace and stability can be fully restored in the region.
The two countries' foreign ministers have reached a five-point consensus on continuing dialogue and quickly disengaging, while honouring all existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs. Over eight rounds of military talks, the Chinese People's Liberation Army has retreated from the Finger 4 area and Patrol point 14 along the LAC, while India pre-empted PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake capturing positions of 'strategic importance' in the Fingers area. 20 jawans were martyred on June 5-6 amid a violent face-off between Indo-China troops at LAC's Galwan Valley.