PLA Vandalises Army Post, Cameras

PLA Vandalises Army Post, Cameras

9 July 2013
The Economic Times


New Delhi: The Chinese incursion into the Indian territory did not end after the Daulat Beg Oldie incident in May. Troops of the People's Liberation Army intruded across the Line of Actual Control in Chumar on June 17 and destroyed Indian Army's observation posts and cameras, it has now emerged. The incident took place less than a month after Chinese premier Li Keqiang's successful May visit to India, during which he called for maintenance of peace and tranquillity at the border. In the last week of June, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon visited Beijing for border talks. Last week, Defence Minister AK Antony also visited Beijing and held talks with his counterpart, General Chang Wanquan. According to an Indian Army source in New Delhi, the Chinese troops patrolling the area took away a camera installed by the Indian side on a knoll, or raised platform. The Indian Army lodged a complaint with local PLA commanders on the 17th. A flag meeting was held subsequently and the camera was returned by the Chinese side on July 3. 'It is not correct that they have destroyed any posts,' a person familiar with the border developments said. The incident occurred in a disputed area where both sides patrol, the person said. The Defence Ministry did not comment on the news report. Officials of the External Affairs Ministry could not be reached. The 21-day face-off between the two sides in the remote Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector on April 15 was triggered by construction of an observation tower in Chumar division, which was subsequently dismantled by the Army on May 5 before the crisis was defused. Strategic affairs analyst Brahma Chellaney said the incident appears to have been hushed up to facilitate the visits of the NSA and the Defence Minister. 'The incident happened on June 17. It was kept under wraps till today. This was done so that first the National Security Advisor and then the Defence Minister could visit Beijing. The question it raises is why are we persisting on engaging with Beijing when they are sending the wrong signal repeatedly? After the April-May incident, we should have reassessed the process of engagement with China and what it is yielding. Instead, we have sent the NSA and Defence Minister and announced that we are resuming joint military exercises with China in October. All of this only reinforces the Chinese perception that India can be pushed around,' Chellaney said.