Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat says reports of villages that are doing the rounds exist but are well within the Chinese side of LAC.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat on Thursday refuted reports of a 100-home village constructed by the Chinese in Arunachal Pradesh. He said there has been no transgression against the Line of Actual Control as yet.
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“The present controversy that has erupted that the Chinese have come across into our territory and built a new village is not true,” CDC Rawat said at a media conclave.
Pentagon, the US department of defence, had recently reported that China has built a large civilian village of about 100 homes in disputed territory in the eastern sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in India’s Arunachal Pradesh.
Media reports claimed China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had stepped up activity along the LAC since 2020 and constructed residential buildings, roads and communication facilities along the Tsari river near Migyitun town on the Arunachal border.
Rawat refuted these reports and said though such villages existed, they are not in the Indian territory but on the Chinese side of the LAC. “They are building this infrastructure, this kind of so-called villages, which are well within their side of the LAC. They have not transgressed anywhere on our perception of the LAC,” he said.
Reports suggest the Chinese villages along the LAC were possibly being developed for billeting and locating their civilians or military following the recent face-offs with the Indian army.
China has destroyed old huts in the areas where it has set up posts and built modern huts and newer infrastructure, he said, adding that some of these villages have increased in size. He said such developments were not muscle-flexing on China’s part but an attempt to reach out to its border areas.
However, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had on Thursday said China undertook construction activities in the border areas, including in illegally occupied territory, for several years.
“India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims,” Bagchi said. He added that the Indian government had also stepped up infrastructure activities along the border.
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)
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