Army chief discounts border protests

Army chief discounts border protests


The Army chief, Gen Bipin Rawat, has  hinted that those who had protested against the celebrations of the Dalai Lama’s birthday on July 6 in eastern Ladakh had not reached the Line of Actual Control (LAC) without the knowledge or backing of the Chinese.

On the recent issue of some Chinese in civvies having showed a banner to residents of Ladakh near Fukche, Gen Rawat said, 'Anytime when civilians come forward (to the LAC) there will be PLA (People’s Liberation Army of China).'

The banner said ‘Ban all activity to split Tibet’. The Indus at this spot is no more than 20-metre wide and the spot is about 270-km south-east from Leh.

'On our side too, if civilians are going towards the LAC, they are accompanied by the ITBP or the Army. We don’t allow civilians to go to the LAC without being monitored,' the Army chief said.

Asked specifically about this case, the Army chief said, 'Civilians have come and obviously the Chinese accompanied them; nobody would want civilians to go to the border without their activity being monitored. Both sides continue to monitor (such movements).'

Asked if the matter was raised at a flag meeting at the local level, the Army chief confirmed said it was and it had been sorted out. 'Let us clear the perception. There has been no intrusion. We need to dispel this talk of intrusion. We have very good working relations with China.'

At the time the incident happened there were some celebrations going on on our side; some Chinese also came opposite (the Indus), Gen Rawat said.