`Reports of Chinese troops` presence in Arunachal Pradesh baseless`

A top ranking security officer has rubbished media`s claim about the presence of Chinese forces on India soil till date.

Itanagar: Without denying that there has been an occasional transgression of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by Chinese Army personnel for want of an accurate delineation of the Sino-Indian border, a top ranking security officer has rubbished media`s claim about the presence of Chinese forces on India soil till date.

"It is a fact that about a 50-member People`s Liberation Army (PLA) patrol team, along with porters on August 11 last, had a face-off with the Indian Army patrol team at Plam-Plam after crossing the Hadigra pass, about 25 km within Indian territory but about 50 km from Chaglagam in Anjaw district."

"They stayed overnight and retreated the next day," the officer who was present at Chaglagam during the period told the Arunachal Front.

"Another Army patrol later undertook eight days` march up to Hadigra and had informed that the PLA jawans had gone," the officer disclosed on condition of anonymity.

Thus, the claims that the transgression was up to 60 km within Indian territory and they stayed for three to five days were totally baseless, he pointed out.

In such a face-off, both sides display bilingual banners inscribed with "Claim over the territory... We are friendly nation... Go back".

"About 1,080 km Sino-India border along Arunachal Pradesh is tough hilly terrain without any demarcation and either thinly or completely uninhabited. 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," he said.

The special representative-level dialogue was initially scheduled for November 28-29, 2012 but had to be postponed after India and China disagreed over Dalai Lama`s participation in the Global Buddhist Congregation in Delhi on those very dates.

This was the 15th round of boundary negotiations (which began in 2003) but remained inconclusive. However, there were reports that over 500 Chinese intrusions had taken place in the last two years along the Sino-Indian boundary. In fact, allegations of contravention by Chinese troops were common in 2009 and 2010.

In 2005, the two sides agreed on political parameters and guiding principles for a boundary settlement, which would form the basis of the final settlement.

Observers say the Chinese game plan was to put pressure on India to reassert claims over territory.

At the centre of the Sino-Indian boundary dispute is the McMahon Line which the Chinese refuse to recognise. While China claims over 90,000 sq km of territory (Arunachal Pradesh), the Indian claim extends over 3,68,846 sq km.

Sir Henry McMahon, the foreign secretary of British government in India, had demarcated the boundary between Tibet and India on the map with the help of a sketch pen in 1914.

The width of the sketch mark on the map considered in the ground could make a difference of 20 to 30 km which has given birth to the different `perception theory` (where the LAC runs) accepted by both the nations. That is the reason as to why the special representatives of Indian and China have been holding high-level talks on the border row.

A Tezu report adds that according to sources, the residents of Chaglagam sporadically come across the words `Chinese occupied land` written on rocks and trees inside Indian territory.

"A stretch of porous land of 108 km from Chaglagam (which is the last circle of Anjaw district) up to Hadigarh Pass has no defence setup. The India Army is deployed at Chaglagam only as there is no road up to the border," a Chalagam villager said.

"How can the Army guard the border by staying at Chaglagam when the actual border is 108 km away?" he asked.

Villages like Thenya, Plam-Plam and Najong were abandoned due to threat posed from across the border. However, Karatafla and Asiliang have a few habitations.

Lack of infrastructure at the border and zero deployment of Army at Hadigarh Pass are the main causes of PLA intrusion, villagers claimed. Unless the Army is properly deployed and the infrastructure at the border developed, PLA intrusions would continue unabated, they added.