Speaking at the chief ministers’ conference on internal security, the newly-elected chief minister of Uttarakhand, Bahuguna said Chinese are disputing Indian territorial claims regarding Barahoti in Chamoli district.
“There have been several reported incursions by Chinese patrol parties into Indian territory in this area: six times in 2006, twice in 2007, ten times in 2008, eleven times in 2009, five times in 2010 and thrice in 2011,” he said.
Underlining the importance of a potent road network in the border areas, Bahuguna said the Centre has sanctioned 12 strategic roads in border areas but the progress has been slow owing to forest clearances.
“Expediting the construction of border roads and tracks is crucial especially in view of the modern highways constructed by China right upto the international border with India,” he said.
Bahuguna also raised concerns about the threat posed by the Moists in Nepal who have declared Kalapani in Pithoragarh district to be a Nepalese territory and repeatedly threatening to march to it.
“A frontal organisation of the Nepalese Maoists, the Young Communist League (YCL), is very active in the Nepalese province of Mahakali Anchal, which has borders with Uttarakhand,” the chief minister said.
The chief minister said intelligence inputs indicate that CPI Maoists have designs to deploy People’s Liberation Guerilla Army cadres in Uttarakhad and intensify their tactical counter-offensive campaign in order to push the state into the “fourth stage” of the revolutionary movement.
Himachal Chief Minister P K Dhumal had accused the UPA government last month for not taking a serious notice of Chinese interference along the Tibet border and cautioned that ignoring these “warning signals” could land the country into serious trouble.
“China is sometime violating the airspace, objecting to road constructions in Leh, building ultramodern airfields in Tibet and extending the railway line upto Tibet border” but the Indian government was conveniently ignoring these warnings, the BJP chief minister said.
He was replying to a calling attention motion in the state Assembly on “violation of Indian airspace by two Chinese helicopters along Himachal border”.
“We could not perceive the Chinese threat in 1962 as we were enamoured by ‘Hindi- Chini, Bhai Bhai’ and now again, China is strengthening its borders and we must take it seriously,” he said.
Attacking China for violation of Indian airspace over Himachal border, Dhumal said that the government has allocated a piece of land to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for installation of a radar to monitor the air space. “The IAF approached the government and a land has been provided to it,” he said.
The calling attention was moved by BJP member Ram Lal Markandey, who cited news reports regarding intrusion of two Chinese helicopters into Indian Airspace. The helicopters were spotted by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on March 16 over Kaurik, close to the international border, about 330 km from state capital Shimla in tribal Spiti Valley.
China has been complaining and objecting to anything being done by India on the border and even opposed visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Arunachal Pradesh and movement of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama even within India, Dhumal said.
“There have been reports about China strengthening the infrastructure being created by China on its side of the border and even China has installed missiles that could target any Indian city in Tibet .
“I have apprised the government of India in this regard a number of times and requested them to strengthen the infrastructure along the Indian border and take necessary measures to safeguard the state,” Dhumal said.
He said even Chinese aircraft, after intruding into Indian airspace from Himachal from one side, cross Indian border within 15-20 minutes and land in Pakistan and described it as a serious issue and needs attention of Union government.