Army, IAF deny Chinese incursion in Arunachal

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Guwahati, Sep 26 (UNI) The Army and Air Force today denied any incursion from China in Arunachal Pradesh and brushed aside the 'border problems' as minor hiccups.

Talking to reporters at the Digaru air base on the outskirts of the city, Eastern Air Command's Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Air Marshal P K Barbora said, ''There has been no incursion of Indian land by the Chinese army in any form whatsoever.'' Conceding that people in the bordering areas do move into the neighbouring nation's territory at times, he termed it a common phenomenon on borders and said, ''there is no danger from such movement.'' Not far from Digaru, in the Narengi army, IV Corps GOC Lt General B S Jaswal ruled out any incursion.

''There are some border questions and we are resolving them through periodic Border Personnel Meetings (BPM),'' he said.

Air Marshal Barbora said border firing between troops was a 'regular phenomenon' taking place at almost all international borders and there was no 'war threat' at the Chinese border.

He stated that the border confusion with China arose at times as the latter was not called for discussion by the then-ruling British forces while demarcating the international border. Talks with other border nations were held before fixing the border.

''We abide by the McMahon line and protect our territory as fixed by it,'' he said.

McMahon line is an imaginary boundary line between India and Chinese Tibet and it was drawn when the province was not under Chinese authority.

China has been claiming parts of Tawang region as their own.

However, there are more than four BPMs that take place each year, mainly through Nathula, Bumla, and Kibithu in this part of the border.

Amongst them, the first one is in Sikkim, through which limited border trade is allowed, while Bumla is too inhospitable to be used for anything rather than movement of defence hardware. Kibithu is being explored as a potential border trade point because of its geographical advantage and access to nearest big Chinese province of Yunan.

Air Marshal P K Barbora and Lt General Jaswal chose the same day to deny the incursion, although both were addressing separate functions.

UNI

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