Chinese Troops Have Intruded 19 Kms Inside: Govt

Chinese Troops Have Intruded 19 Kms Inside: Govt

26 April 2013
The Daily Excelsior


New Delhi: The Government today told a Parliamentary Committee that Chinese troops have pitched tents 19 kms deep inside the Indian territory in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and that efforts are underway to ensure that the status quo is maintained. Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and some other senior officials informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence that India has deployed forces to “keep a close watch on the border”, sources told. Sharma and other officials appeared before the Committee after BJP members Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Prakash Javadekar wanted to know the actual ground situation in Depsang sector of Ladakh where the Chinese incursion took place in Daulat Beg Oldi area a week ago. The meeting of the committee was cut short as members were dissatisfied with the insufficient information provided by the officials and they were asked to report back at the next meeting on May 30 with appropriate and exact details of the situation. The officials told the Committee that Indian Army patrols reported on April 16 the presence of Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Depsang, pitching tents 19 km inside the LAC, the sources said. They told the panel that as per the established mechanisms, the issue has been taken up at the level of flag meetings and through diplomatic channels to maintain status quo and resolve the issue through existing mechanisms. The Defence Ministry officials told the Committee that China disputes the international boundary with India and there is no commonly delineated LAC between the two countries. They said there are a few areas along the border where India and China have differing perceptions of the LAC, the sources said. Incidents of transgression due to differences in the perception of LAC are taken up with the Chinese side through established mechanisms such as border personnel meetings, flag meetings, hotlines and diplomatic channels, the officials told the panel. The agenda for today’s meeting was welfare of armed forces personnel but the issue related to incursion in Ladakh was added after Naqvi and Javadekar demanded to get the clear picture of the situation and on how the Government is handling it. Naqvi and Javadekar wrote to Standing Committee Chairman Raj Babbar yesterday, saying the situation in Ladakh is “very serious” but the Government is not taking it seriously. Meanwhile, after having briefly halted its operations in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) area in Ladakh after the incursion by Chinese troops, IAF has resumed its operations to supply rations to the Indian Army units deployed there. The Indian Air Force had briefly halted its operations in the area after the incursion took place on April 15 but it has now started dropping supplies for the troops in that area using its helicopters, Government sources told reporters here. The Army depot for gathering and distributing supplies to the units deployed in the DBO area is at a short distance from the place where Indian and Chinese troops face each other, they said. IAF uses its Mi-17-V5 choppers to keep the supply lines open for the ground troops based there. About four years ago, IAF had reactivated the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at DBO by landing an An-32 transport aircraft there. The force has operated all its major transport aircraft including the latest C-130J Super Hercules planes at ALG. Meanwhile, to find ways of resolving the incursion issue, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh today met National Security Adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon to brief him about the various military options before the Government. The Army has already given several options to the Government including that of using force for resolving the situation. Several meetings of the China Study Group headed by Menon and other forums have taken place following the incursion. Meanwhile, Defence Minister A K Antony today said negotiations and consultations are on at various levels to find a peaceful solution to the Chinese incursion issue in Ladakh. His comments came a day after External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid asserted in Almaty in Kazhakistan that India was “not a pushover” and that the issue of Chinese incursion in Ladakh would be resolved before he visits Beijing on May 9. “Negotiations and consultations are going on at various levels to find out a peaceful solution to Chinese incursion issue,” Antony told reporters outside Parliament House. The Defence Minister was yesterday briefed by Army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who reviewed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Ladakh area with military commanders in the Northern Command.