New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday advised the Indo-Tibetan Border forces and the governments of the states near the border to be ‘very vigilant’ against Chinese offence along the Sino-Indian border, news agency PTI reported.
The Home minister was addressing the chief ministers of five Himalayan states, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the first meeting of its kind. He said incidents of transgression happen due to perceptional differences. “Due to perceptional differences, there have been transgression by the Chinese PLA in the past. Such incidents have come down now. Sometimes armies of both the countries come face to face which we call face-off. Such incidents are resolved through the existing mechanism,” he said at the meeting.
Singh also asked the leaders of the Himalayan state governments to develop the areas near the border in order to prevent the need for people living in these regions to migrate. Also, the inhospitable conditions in these area make patrolling on the border cumbersome for the security forces who have been doing the job very well despite all odds. He also wished that the key outcome of independent patrolling along the border will be analysed before deciding on a future action plan border security.
Addressing the issue of connectivity, Singh said the lack of infrastructure is leading to an increase in migration and reducing the population in these places. “We need to strengthen basic infrastructure in border areas so that people don’t migrate to other places looking for better opportunities,” he said.
The Home minister also said the central government is working to develop model villages in border districts and in the first stage of the development project undertaken by the MHA 27 roads will be constructed by the end of 2019-20. He further directed the state governments to ensure the development activities are taking place unhindered and appoint senior officials to look into it from time to time.
The meeting was attended by chief ministers of Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh and representatives of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The meeting aims to develop a better understanding between the states and the Centre, and therefore achieve strengthened co-ordination in security across the Indo-Sino border. India shares a 3,488 km-long border with China that runs along the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
The relationship between India and China has been a strained one and its been only a few days since India refused to attend China’s Silk road project ‘One Belt, One Road’ conference in Beijing. Earlier, China had announced ‘standardised’ names for six places in Arunachal which it claims as South Tibet.
The two nations have also been facing diplomatic tensions over Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s visit to India last month. China had protested the visit of Dalai Lama and warned that it would have a negative impact on the efforts to resolve the border dispute.