Chinese aggression: Antony to clarify in House today

Defence minister AK Antony will clarify in Parliament today whether China has occupied 640 km of Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC).

delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2013 13:36 IST

Defence minister AK Antony will clarify in Parliament on Friday whether China has occupied 640 km of Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC).

Hindustan Times had reported on September 3 that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops were not allowing their Indian counterparts to patrol the Indian perception of the LoAC in eastern Ladakh.

A committee tasked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to assess the situation on the China border is understood to have reported that Indian troops are not being allowed to patrol up to the perceived Line of Actual Control (LoAC) by Chinese Army.

The team, headed by National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) chairman Shyam Saran, visited Ladakh between August 2 and 9 to review the border infrastructure development and the situation there.
It is believed to have said that Chinese troops have built motorable roads inside the LoAC perceived by India in Daulat Beg Oldie and other sectors in Ladakh and that patrolling by Indian troops was being prevented, sources said.

The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha on Thursday by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha who said media reports have quoted the Committee as having concluded that 640 sq km of Indian territory has been occupied by China.

He wanted defence minister A K Antony to immediately clarify the situation in Parliament. The government agreed, saying Antony will be requested to make a statement by 1 PM on Friday or as early as possible.

"The Parliament is unaware of this... The defence minister should be called immediately to the House and he should clarify on the issue. There should be a debate in the House," Sinha said.

Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath said the government understands the seriousness of the matter, but cannot make a statement immediately. "I will request the defence minister to make a statement tomorrow (Friday)," he said.

However, this did not satisfy the opposition benches and members from BJP, Shiv Sena and SP, among others were on their feet.

Nath then assured the House that Antony will make a statement by 1 pm on Friday and he will request him to make a statement as early as possible.

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid said he is not aware about the report’s “factual assessment”, but whatever it has produced will be examined very carefully.

"It has come from somebody who is held in high esteem and somebody who within the system is very important," he said.

Referring to recent landing of Super Hercules aircraft by IAF at Daulat Beg Oldie, which had seen incursion by Chinese Army, Khurshid said India is "alert and equipped" and the government would not be found wanting in protecting country's sovereignty.

There have been several intrusions into the Indian territory by the Chinese army of late, raising concern.

First Published: Sep 06, 2013 08:10 IST