Brazen China en­ters In­dia, spends 3 days

BREACH AGAIN Soldiers came deep into Arunachal last week; govt says ‘non-event’

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - FRONT PAGE - Rahul Singh

NEW DELHI: A day af­ter In­dia landed a mil­i­tary air­craft close to the China bor­der in the north in a “show of mus­cle”, re­ports on Wed­nes­day said Chi­nese soldiers not only came deep into the In­dian side in the North­east last week but also stayed on for three days.

The min­istry of ex­ter­nal af­fairs (MEA) down­played the in­cur­sion in Arunachal Pradesh’s Chaglagam area, call­ing it a “non-event” based on army in­puts.

Army sources, how­ever, pri­vately con­firmed that a “lon­grange Chi­nese patrol” com­pris­ing 20-30 soldiers had crossed the line of ac­tual con­trol ( L AC ) and camped 20-30km in­side In­dian ter­ri­tory for three days.

The news came in as army of­fi­cers of both sides were meet­ing in Kolkata to draw plans for a joint ex­er­cise.

China has been in­creas­ingly get­ting ag­gres­sive along the dis­puted LAC in both the north­ern and eastern sec­tors. In­dia has taken many coun­ter­mea­sures and those could have been a trig­ger for the re­cent es­ca­la­tion of ten­sions, a source said.

“There has been a re­but­tal by the army on this and we don’t want to go be­yond that… We don’t fo­cus on non-events in diplo­matic prac­tice,” MEA spokesper­son Syed Ak­barud­din said on Wed­nes­day.

An army source said, “There was no face-off be­tween the two sides. Long-range pa­trols carry out sur­veil­lance for 10-12 days. Such in­ci­dents keep tak­ing place as both sides en­ter into ar­eas claimed by the other.”

China claims parts of Arunachal as its own, which In­dia stoutly de­nies.

More than 200 Chi­nese in­cur­sions are re­ported ev­ery year. But the fre­quency of In­dian pa­trols i nto what Bei­jing claims to be its ter­ri­tory is higher, HT re­ported on July 30.

The lat­est vi­o­la­tion comes four months af­ter Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) troops took up po­si­tions and pitched tents 19 km into In­dian ter­ri­tory in Ladakh’s Dep­sang plains, trig­ger­ing a three-week long tense diplo­matic stand­off. The last few months have been “busy”, with re­ports of in­tru­sions com­ing in fre­quently.

The lat­est in­ci­dent comes at a time when the In­dian and Chi­nese armies are lay­ing the ground­work for a pos­si­ble joint ex­er­cise in China’s Chengdu mil­i­tary re­gion in Novem­ber.

Bri­gadier-level del­e­ga­tions from the two sides met in Kolkata on Wed­nes­day to work out the con­tours of the 10-day ex­er­cise, an army source said. But ex­perts warn that re­peated Chi­nese in­cur­sions could come in the way of mend­ing mil­i­tary ties. China has ob­jected to in­creased mil­i­tary ac­tiv­ity and ramp­ing up of in­fra­struc­ture on the In­dian side of the LAC -- at least eight ad­vance land­ing grounds have been made op­er­a­tional in Arunachal in the re­cent years, in­clud­ing one at Wa­long, lo­cated east of the last week’s in­cur­sion site.

Ob­ser­va­tion posts, bunkers and sur­veil­lance equip­ment in the Ladakh sec­tor have also caused un­ease. The Chi­nese say some of the build-ups along the LAC are in vi­o­la­tion of pro­to­cols gov­ern­ing bor­ders that have not been mu­tu­ally de­lin­eated.

New Delhi has de­clared it has no plans to slam the brakes on in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment. Last month, the govern­ment cleared a moun­tain strike corps, with more than 45,000 soldiers, for the North­east.

The Chi­nese ag­gres­sion also co­in­cides with the re­peated breach of cease­fire along the Line of Con­trol in Jammu and Kash­mir. The two sides con­tinue to ex­change fire 15 days af­ter Pak­istani troops killed five In­dian soldiers in a cross­bor­der raid.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.