05 sept 2013
AK Antony to clarify whether China has taken 640 sq kms in Ladakh
New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony will clarify in Parliament today whether China has occupied 640 kilometres of Indian territory along the de-factor border with China in north-east Ladakh.
Some media reports have alleged that a committee headed by former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran visited Ladkah last month and concluded that Indian troops are cut off from the border and are being prevented by the Chinese army from patrolling near Daulat Beg, where India has built one of the world’s highest landing strips.
“The Defence Minister should be called immediately to the House and he should clarify on the issue. There should be a debate in the House,” said opposition leader Yashwant Sinha in Parliament on Thursday.
The National Security Advisory Board or NSAB, which is headed by Mr Saran, has denied reporting that India has ceded territory to China.
In April, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police or ITBP, which patrols the border with China had told the government that 640 square kilometres in Rakinala in north-east Ladakh had been inaccessible to Indian troops because of a large incursion by the Chinese army.
Several dozen Chinese soldiers had set up a remote camp 18-19 kilometres inside Indian territory at Daulat Beg.
Small incursions are common across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border that runs some 4,000 kilometres across the Himalayas, but it is rare for either country to set up camp so deep within disputed territory.
Three weeks later, after talks between army commanders from both sides supplemented by diplomatic negotiations, China withdrew and Indian troops were reportedly able to resume normal patrol.