TUTING IN­CI­DENT RE­SOLVED

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

NEW DELHI: Army Chief Gen­eral Bipin Rawat on Mon­day said In­dian and Chi­nese troops had re­solved an is­sue over the re­cent at­tempt by Chi­nese teams to build a road on the In­dian side of the bor­der at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh.

Govern­ment sources said two ex­ca­va­tors, brought in for road build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties by the Chi­nese teams, were re­turned on Satur­day fol­low­ing an am­i­ca­ble res­o­lu­tion of the Tuting in­ci­dent at a Bor­der Per­son­nel Meet­ing (BPM) be­tween the two sides in Arunachal.

They said the In­dian side had con­veyed its con­cerns over the in­ci­dent to China, which said that the teams had crossed into In­dia by mis­take and would no longer en­gage in such ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The Tuting in­ci­dent has been re­solved,” Gen. Rawat told re­porters on the side­lines of an event, adding that a meet­ing of bor­der per­son­nel was held two days ago.

The Army chief also said there was a ma­jor re­duc­tion of Chi­nese troops in the Dok­lam area. Troops from the two coun­tries were en­gaged in a 73-day long stand­off in Dok­lam in the Sikkim sec­tor last year.

On De­cem­ber 28, In­dian troops had foiled at­tempts by Chi­nese road build­ing teams to build a track around 1km in­side In­dian ter­ri­tory in Tuting, govern­ment sources had said.

They had said the civil­ian teams went back when con­fronted by the In­dian troops, but left be­hind two ex­ca­va­tors and some other equip­ment.

“The two ex­ca­va­tors were re­turned to the Chi­nese side fol­low­ing the BPM on Jan­uary 6,” the sources said, adding that In­dia’s ob­jec­tion to the in­ci­dent was con­veyed to China.

In an ad­dress at an event on mod­erni­sa­tion of the armed forces, Gen. Rawat said fu­ture wars would be fought on dif­fi­cult ter­rains and cir­cum­stances and the forces would have to be pre­pared for them.

His com­ments were seen as an ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to China.

Days af­ter the end of the Dok­lam stand­off, the Army chief had said In­dia should be pre­pared for a two-front war, not­ing that China had started “flex­ing its mus­cles”.

He had also said China was try­ing to take over In­dian ter­ri­tory in a grad­ual man­ner, and cau­tioned the forces to guard against such at­tempts.

“Fu­ture wars will be fought in dif­fi­cult ter­rains and cir­cum­stances. We have to be pre­pared for them,” Gen. Rawat said.

He fur­ther said the armed forces needed ma­jor mod­erni­sa­tion and that the coun­try must fight the next war with in­dige­nous so­lu­tions.

Gen. Rawat said the Army was ready to in­duct equip­ment and plat­forms made by do­mes­tic de­fence firms.

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