Karela Fry

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Surely that’s not the whole story

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In the years since alleged Chinese intrusions into Indian territory became big media items, many incidents have been reported once and then never followed up. Here is a story reported by HT which seems intriguingly like one of these:

The Jammu and Kashmir government in October last year had to stop constructing a passenger shed near the international border after objections from infiltrating Chinese troops. The Chinese troops had stepped into Indian territory in the Demchok area of Ladakh to register their protest.

Construction was stopped on the directions of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and army.

Earlier too in November 2009 road construction under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) had to be stopped after the Chinese side objected.

The union home ministry issued a circular to the Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary, asking the state government to seek clearance both from the defence and external affairs ministries before undertaking work in the Demchok area, 300 km south-east of Leh.

“Chinese troops objected to the construction work last October. The matter was brought before both the ITBP and Army, manning the border, but they directed us to stop construction work,” Leh deputy commissioner T Angchuk told HT.

The passenger shed was being constructed at cost of Rs 1.80 lakh under the Border Area Development Programme of the union home ministry at a place 10 km from Demchok village. The place does not have a well-demarcated border.

“This amounts to encouraging Chinese transgression and interference. And it has become a regular feature after development activity started along the Chinese border. The Indian government should have a clear policy on it,” said a senior state government official.

A description of Demchok reads like it is a village divided by a border.

Does the J&K government have a different map than the central government? Is the Indo-Tibetan Border Police ill informed about its jurisdiction? Is the army a little confused about the national border? “No” is the likely answer to all of these questions.

Then what is going on? Can HT leave us in suspense? When will we hear the end of this story?

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

January 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

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