The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier, who was handed back to China Monday, was “disoriented” and given medical aid by the Army after he “slid” into Indian side at the Kailash Ranges in eastern Ladakh last week.

The soldier was handed over to China at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point at about 10.10 am Monday. Sources in the defence and security establishment said the Chinese soldier was a young trooper and completely “disoriented” when he was apprehended by the Indian troops Friday. They said he seems to have slid into the Indian side after tripping due to the disorientation.

Sources denied that this was a case of spying, adding that the soldier was in uniform. They further said the soldier was immediately given medical aid, including oxygen, by the Indian side and also fed food once he came back to his normal self.

He was questioned in detail by the personnel and was handed over after talks at the local level, the sources added. He was again checked by the Indian medical team before being returned.

China had Saturday called for the swift return of the soldier and had contacted the Indian side regarding the matter.

The Army had said the soldier, who was caught on 8 January, is being dealt with according to laid-down procedures, and the circumstances under which he crossed the Line of Actual Control were being investigated.

Not the first time
This is not the first time that a Chinese soldier was captured by Indian troops and then returned.

In October, a Chinese soldier was apprehended by the Indian troops near Demchok area of Ladakh.

The Chinese authorities at the time had contacted the Indian Army after they found one of their soldiers missing.

The Indian Army had confirmed that the Chinese soldier was in its custody and would be returned after finishing all formalities.