Itanagar, May 22, 2023, IANS
Tarh Tarak, vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Arunachal Pradesh, has asserted that there has been no noticeable encroachment or incursion by the Chinese military or civilians into Indian territory in the state since the Indo-China war in 1962.
Tarak, who recently led a four-month-long 'Seema Yatra' along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), shared his observations with the media.
Arunachal Pradesh, with a 1,129 km border with China's Tibet, has been a sensitive region due to border disputes between India and China. In an effort to assess the ground reality, a team of 10 BJP leaders initiated the Seema Yatra on December 22, 2022, starting in the Anjaw sector and concluding in the Tawang sector on April 24 this year. Local party leaders joined different legs of the tour in phases.
During their journey, the BJP delegation interacted with personnel from the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police stationed along the LAC, as well as residents of the border villages. Tarak revealed that the villagers had conveyed that the situation along the frontier was normal and peaceful. According to their accounts, there were no visible signs of encroachment or incursion by China into Indian territory.
However, Tarak mentioned that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) occasionally enters Indian territory inadvertently or by mistake during long-range patrols along the LAC. In such instances, Indian Army soldiers have effectively challenged the PLA's attempts.
The decision to undertake the tour came in the wake of a clash between Chinese and Indian troops at Yangtse in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9, 2022, which garnered nationwide attention. Although the clash resulted in minor injuries to soldiers from both sides, they disengaged from the area within a few days. Tarak also referenced a similar incident in October 2021 when the Indian Army detained a large PLA patrolling team near Yangtse for a few hours.
The primary objective of the 'Seema Yatra' was to pay homage to the armed forces personnel safeguarding the border in hostile conditions while gaining firsthand knowledge of the border posts and understanding the ground reality. Tarak emphasized that the tour provided an accurate understanding of the border situation and the challenges faced by the border villagers. Additionally, it offered insights into the progress of various central and state government schemes implemented in the region.
Incidents such as the alleged abduction of five youths by the PLA from Sera-7, an Army patrol zone in the Upper Subansiri district in September 2020, and the abduction of a youth at gunpoint from a jungle in Lungta Jor, Upper Siang district, in January 2022 have previously raised concerns. However, the youths were released after a few days, indicating a relatively stable situation in the border areas.
Tarak's statement, based on his extensive interactions and observations during the 'Seema Yatra,' seeks to reassure the public that there have been no visible encroachments or incursions by China in Arunachal Pradesh since 1962. The BJP leader's account provides a valuable perspective on the ground reality along the Indo-China border in the region. (Edited)