In Ladakh's Demchok area -a region bordering Tibet and site of previous Chinese incursions, Indian and Chinese troops have been in a stand-off over construction of an irrigation canal. Demchok is at an altitude of around 11,500 feet and marks the entry of Indus into India from Tibet. China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops are said to have entered the area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and stopped the construction work. Government is constructing an irrigation canal under the rural employment guarantee scheme to link a village with a `hot spring' in Demchok, 250km east of Leh.
The fresh tensions in Demchok also come in the wake of the Indian government's decision to allow the Dalai Lama to travel to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh despite China's strong reservations about the Buddhist leader. Tawang is also the site of a monastery that is of special significance to Tibetan Buddhists while China claims all of Arunachal as “South Tibet”.
The area had witnessed a similar incident in 2014 over a small irrigation canal at Nilung Nalla under the MNREGS that had been a sore point with the Chinese. There was a prolonged incursion by a Chinese platoon in April, 2013 as well that led to India and China agreeing on a protocol to improve communications between border troops.