Chinese intrusions continue unabated

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 15:00 hrs

Chinese intrusions along the Indo-China border are reported very often than not and the recent one was reported from Plam-Plam, about 50 kilometers from Chaglagam in Anjaw district.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) transgressed about 30 kilometers into Indian territory on August 11. Both the patrol teams showed banners to each other claiming rights.

The Indian Army asked the PLA to leave the area and return to their territory. But they stayed put till the Deputy GoC of 4 Corps along with another senior officer air dashed to the spot the next day and a border personnel meeting (BPM) with their counterparts was held for 15 minutes before the PLA jawans retreated, highly placed officials sources said.

The border patrolling is mandatory, but the area on the Indian side is not delineated and uninhabited, the source clarified.

China has now flexed its muscles in Arunachal Pradesh, transgressing about 30 km inside Indian territory in Chaglagam sector in Anjaw district.

A PLA patrol crossed the border and came face-to-face with an Indian Army patrol.

"They transgressed into about 30 km in our territory. Both the patrol team showed banners to each other claiming rights. The Indian Army asked the PLA to leave the area and return to their territory," sources said.

An official said the Deputy GoC of 4 Corps went on a recce sortie with two choppers to assess the ground situation, the official said, adding that due to lack of proper boundary demarcation such incidents were observed in the past too. The area falls under the 2 Division of the Army and the deputy commander of the formation had also intervened to resolve the issue, they said, adding paramilitary force Indo-Tibetan Border Police is also present in the area to guard the Line of Actual Control (LAC) there.

Last week, a Chinese patrol team entered the Indian territory near Tangkar La pass in Sikkim. Both the Indian and Chinese troops had then showed banners to each other claiming rights. However, the Chinese had retreated after sharing beers with the Indians.

Although the issue of Chinese incursions had rocked the first day of Parliament's Monsoon session, Defence Minister A.K. Antony had played down the incidents and told the House that there was no commonly delineated LAC between India and China and there were areas where both nations have different perceptions of the LAC.

"On account of differences in perception of LAC, transgressions do take place. The government regularly takes up any such incident with the Chinese," Antony had said.

A spurt in Chinese intrusions in Chaglagam was reported in February 2012. The PLA often intrudes through two passes of Glai Takre and Hadira Takre, about 100 km from last ITBP base camp situated at Chaglagam and puts up their signs and symbols on stones and trees inside the Indian territory.

However, after the Chinese departure, Indian military patrolling team is quick to erase the Chinese military marks and signs, the official sources said, adding due to the lack of establishment of Indian military camp within the Indian territory in the interior places, Chinese frequently conducts patrolling in Indian territory. The Chinese government has connected its border area with highways. On the other hand, India is yet to make any roads leading to all border areas in Arunachal Pradesh even today.

Though Antony has announced building roads and develop infrastructure along the border areas at Itanagar on 20 February 2012, no tangible progress has been made so far while the possibility of end to such incursions is unlikely till bold initiatives are taken to secure the border.

Most of the areas in the Indo-China border are tough hilly terrain without any demarcation. The forces patrol along the imaginary international border as border pillars get covered under thick shrubs leaving no sign of demarcation that makes it humanly impossible to know the actual LAC, the source reasoned.

In autumn of 1962 Wallong was the scene of the Battle of Wallong when the Indian Army's 11th Infantry Brigade battled the Chinese advances. Indians were defeated decisively by the Chinese. Only Mao's decision to withdraw the PLA allowed the Indians to re-take Wallong. The Wallong War Memorial stands tall today as a testimony to the gallantry of Indian war heroes who had sacrificed their lives.

Wallong in Anjaw district is approximately 20 km south of the Chinese border.

Interestingly, a large contingent of the Chinese Army personnel along with their families came over to the Indian side of the border to the historic 'Maitri Sthal' at the Bum La pass in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh as part of the special BPM and to celebrate Independence Day-2013.

The BPMs between the two armies serve as a vital platform for resolving local issues and fostering confidence amongst the two nations with a view to enhance peace in the sector. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)

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