Post Chinese Incursion, Army Chief Arrives Today For Personal Assessment

Post Chinese Incursion, Army Chief Arrives Today For Personal Assessment

22 April 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: Concerned over the Chinese incursions deep into Indian Territory in Eastern Ladakh sector, Army Chief General Bikram Singh is visiting the State tomorrow for personal assessment of the situation and shall be holding detailed interactions with top brass of the Army. Besides, the General will also be holding deliberations with Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and Governor N N Vohra in view of seriousness of the situation. Defence Minister, A K Antony has also stated in New Delhi today, “India will take every step in protecting the interest and so as to resolve the situation arising out of deep incursion by Chinese troops”. Even as officials in Northern Command are tight-lipped over the visit of the General, sources corroborated that Gen Singh will be coming on two-day visit to the border State and will be flying in to the 16 Corps headquarter at Nagrota tomorrow morning. “Army Chief will receive detailed briefing from the GOC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen KT Parnaik, GOC 16 Corps (Nagrota) Lt Gen DS Hooda and Commanders of other Division. The Army Chief shall be informed of the latest situation in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) area, where a platoon strength of contingent of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has entered and erected a tented post”, sources asserted. “Army is deeply concerned over the matter that the PLA could manage to intrude up to 10-12 Km inside Indian Territory in this sector, which is at an attitude of about 17,000 feet on April 15 night and establish temporary posts there. Even Chinese helicopters were observed hovering over these posts to give them aerial cover”, sources said adding, “the subsequent flag meeting at Chushul aimed to resolve the issue on April 18 ended in a deadlock as the Chinese Army Commanders were adamant on their claim that they were camping in their own territory”. “‘The Army General shall also review the ‘Operational preparedness’ of Army on the Line of Control (LoC) across Jammu and Kashmir and internal areas of the State. Top Army commanders engaged in anti-militancy operations shall also share their assessment of the ground situation with General Singh”, sources said adding, “the situation prevailing on the LoC across the State including presence of militants across the LoC on Pakistan side, who continued to make attempts to infiltrate into this side is also likely to figure into the meeting”. Though Army officials claimed that the Army Chief’s visit was scheduled earlier to review preparedness in areas falling under jurisdiction of 16 Corps, sources asserted that the visit was actually aimed for on spot assessment of the situation following Chinese incursion. Sources stated that after receiving the briefing Gen Singh is likely to visit forward areas in Rajouri district to access the counter-infiltration measures in border areas. “During his visit to the Kalsian area in Nowshera sector of Rajouri, the Army Chief shall receive briefing about the summer strategy evolved by the Security agencies to counter infiltration attempts and check militancy in the hinterland in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch”. Later in the evening, the Army General will hold deliberations with Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and Governor N N Vohra. “Besides discussing the situation that has arisen due to the Chinese incursion, the duo is also likely to discuss with them the security scenario, infiltration and other issues. The meeting will also discuss the security requirements required to be in place in view of the forthcoming Amarnath pilgrimage, which is to start on June 283, sources informed. “After detailed discussion the Army Chief is scheduled to have dinner with Governor N N Vohra”, sources added. On the second day of his visit, sources said Army Chief will be visiting forward area of the Doda, Kishtwar and Reasi. “The Chief will return to Delhi on April 22 evening”, sources said. Voicing concern over the Chinese troops incursion, State Home Minister, Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo said, “We have last week informed Government of India as it is very a serious issue. Again and again they are trying to intrude into our territory. We should seriously look into”. “State Government has written to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the latter is looking into the matter. They aren’t taking it lightly and strategy is being evolved to solve the issue”, he added. Meanwhile, high placed official sources told EXCELSIOR that the stand-off at DBO area in Eastern Ladakh continued and the PLA men have stuck to their positions in the Indian Territory. “The Chinese Army Commanders aren’t responding to any requests for further flag meetings at ground level”, sources said. Sources said forces on ground have sent their latest assessment of the situation to MHA, who have shared the same with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Ministry of Defence (MoD). Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has stepped in to resolve the issue at the earliest possible and India has taken up the issue with their Chinese counterparts as per the mechanism in place for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs”, sources said adding, “MoD would also now comment on situation only in consultation with MEA”. “The Chinese incursion is a serious provocation and the area is also of great strategic importance”, sources asserted. PTI adds from New Delhi: India will take “every step” to protect its interests to resolve the situation arising out of deep incursion by Chinese troops into Indian Territory in Eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister A K Antony said today “We are taking every action to protect our interest… We will take every step to protect our interest,” he told reporters outside Parliament House. He was asked the Government’s response to the Chinese incursion some 10 to 12 km deep into Indian Territory. Government sources have already said that India and China are in touch to resolve the issue of Chinese incursion into Indian Territory in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in Eastern Ladakh and erecting a tented post. According to Government sources, the issue was raised by India after the incident came to light some time ago. A Platoon-strength contingent of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 km inside the Indian Territory in DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there, according to highly placed sources which said a Chinese Army Platoon usually consists of around 50 men.