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.

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.

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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.