Rajnath to Tour Forward Areas Along Pak, China Border

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New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh will undertake a three-day visit to forward areas along the borders with Pakistan and China, including Chumar in eastern Ladakh which saw a fortnight-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops a year ago.

During his visit to the forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir, he will inaugurate a new officers’ mess at the camp of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force in Samba and may also go to posts in the sector which has often witnessed firing from across the border.

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Singh will then visit border posts in Chumar in eastern Ladakh where Indian and Chinese troops had eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in sub-zero temperatures in September 2014. It will be followed by a visit to the police memorial in Hot Spring and ITBP posts in Thakung and Chushul, official sources said.

Following a flag meeting at Spanggur Gap, both the forces had decided to de-escalate the standoff by pulling back troops in the Himalayan plateau after a fortnight last year. The Home Minister will review the situation along the Sino-Indian border and interact with troops of ITBP, which guards the border.

He is also expected to chair a meeting with local administration and Border Roads Organisation about the development activities being carried out in the forward areas. Indian and Chinese troops recently had a face-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the same area where People’s Liberation Army had pitched camps in April 2013 that had led to a three-week-long stalemate.

According to officials in the know of developments, the Chinese troops had built a temporary hut in Burtse, north of Ladakh, which was demolished by ITBP and army jawans on September 12. The Home Minister’s visit was earlier cancelled twice — first due to inclement weather and then due to a key BJP meeting on Bihar last week.

PTI

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