India-China Eastern Ladakh Clash: The Centre offered no clear picture on Chinese presence near LAC (File)
No infiltration has actually been reported along the India-China border in the last six months, the federal government stated in parliament today in the middle of a stand-off in Ladakh and multiple attempts by the Chinese to “alter the Line of Actual Control (LAC)” or the de-facto border in between the countries.
The Union Home Ministry’s written response was to a concern from BJP Rajya Sabha member Anil Agrawal, who asked whether cases of seepage from Pakistan and China had increased in the last 6 months and what steps were being taken by the government.
Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai listed seepage efforts by Pakistan – the most incidents were reported in April– however on China, he said: “No infiltration has actually been reported along Indo-China border during last 6 months”.
The federal government’s response suggests an attempt to minimize Chinese intrusions and tension that India has strongly held on to its positions at the LAC.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in a declaration in parliament on Tuesday, had stated China continues to be in illegal occupation of around 38,000 sq km in Ladakh. “In mid-May, the Chinese side made several attempts to transgress the LAC in other parts of the western sector. This consisted of Kongka La, Gogra and north bank of Pangong Lake. While nobody ought to question our decision to protect our borders, India believes that mutual regard and mutual sensitivity are the basis for peaceful relations with neighbours,” Mr Singh said.
The federal government has up until now provided no clear, official picture on Chinese existence near the LAC in Ladakh.
In August, the Defence Ministry installed a file on its website that stated Chinese hostility “has actually been increasing along the LAC and more particularly in Galwan valley considering that Might 5, 2020” and “the Chinese side has actually transgressed in the areas of Kungrang Nala, Gogra and north bank of Pangong Tso Lake on Might 17-18”. The document was removed within two days.
Tension at the LAC since Might intensified on June 15, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the line of task.
At an all-party meeting in June on the China conflict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had actually stated: “Neither has anybody horned in our area nor taken control of any post. Our forces are doing what they need to do to protect the country, whether it is release, action or counter-action. Our patrolling capacity has actually increased due to recently constructed infrastructure, specifically along LAC.”
Later On, amidst an opposition protest, PM Modi’s office clarified that his observations that there was no Chinese existence on our side of the LAC “related to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our militaries.”