Leh/New Delhi, May 5 (PTI): In a sudden development, India and China pulled back their troops from the stand off point at Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh, where the Chinese forces had intruded nearly three weeks back, official sources said tonight.
A battalion of Chinese troops estimated at about 50 and accompanied by vehicles and dogs had intruded 19 km inside the Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Daulat Beg Oldi sector on 15 April and set up five tents.
The Indian troops had also established tented posts facing the Chinese forces at a distance of 300 metres.
The troops of the two sides held four flag meetings, the last one being yesterday. However, there was no positive outcome from these meetings, which went hand-in-hand with high level diplomatic efforts to break the impasse.
An agreement was reached late today for both sides to pull back their troops simultaneously from the face off point, which was completed at 1930 hours, the sources said.
Indian and Chinese commanders at the local level shook hands before withdrawing, the sources said.
However, it was not clear whether the Chinese would withdraw all the way back across the LAC to the position that obtained on April 15 as was demanded by India which pressed for restoration of status quo ante.
The face off in Ladakh had cast a shadow over the visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to China on May nine to prepare the ground for the new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s visit to India from 20 May.
Khurshid had told reporters on his way to Iran on May 3 that the progress in dialogue to end the stand off in Ladakh was not satisfactory.
India would have liked a “much better response” from China, he had said and emphasised that it wanted reversal of the “adverse incident” in Ladakh and return to the status quo in Depsang Valley where the Chinese troops have intruded.