Sol­diers ex­changed af­ter melee: Singh

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTSPOTLIGH­T - Sm­riti Kak Ra­machan­dran letters@hin­dus­tan­

For­mer chief of army staff VK Singh, min­is­ter of state for road trans­port and high­ways, says the lat­est trans­gres­sion by China at the Line of Ac­tual Con­trol (LAC) has cre­ated a trust deficit be­tween the two Asian giants, but cau­tions that war should be the last re­sort.

Asked what would be an apt re­sponse to the Chi­nese ag­gres­sion, Singh said in an in­ter­view: “If you’re go­ing to tell about the re­sponse now, then the re­sponse is of no use what­so­ever. I am sure the re­quired peo­ple have been tasked to think of what can be done, what can­not be done and what mea­sures have to be taken.”

“In the melee where there are over 600 peo­ple just jostling, scuf­fling, push­ing and hit­ting each other and in a dark night some peo­ple got sep­a­rated; their peo­ple on our side and our peo­ple on their side. But in the morn­ing they were ex­changed.”

Singh added: “The first thing that has been given out is to boy­cott Chi­nese goods, let’s start with this. Let’s hurt them eco­nom­i­cally... War and use of force is the last re­sort al­ways and ev­ery time. When all other means fail then you re­sort to this. There are many means avail­able.”

Singh’s com­ments come in the back­drop of out­rage over the June 15 skir­mish, in which Chi­nese troops at­tacked In­dian troops. Singh said the sit­u­a­tion was in con­trol of In­dian troops. “There are no in­tru­sions. There are trans­gres­sions, not in­tru­sions,” he said.

On the May con­fronta­tion in Pan­gong Tso, he said: “... this is not just a yearly fea­ture, but hap­pens in the sum­mer and some­times in the win­ter also...the only dif­fer­ence this time is that the trans­gres­sion has in­volved a cer­tain amount of stealth ...they’ve done things which they have never done ear­lier.” Singh said sub­se­quent ne­go­ti­a­tions cen­tred on wher­ever there have been trans­gres­sions such as Pa­trol Point 14 where “they said LAC is not this way but is a dif­fer­ent way”.

VK Singh

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