Policy evolving on Indo-Tibet border
Local perspectives warranted in border management
Dr Sunil Mohanty
The facts which normally don’t get highlighted at the level of decision-making need alarming attention of the countrymen and the policymakers, as far as India’s border security is concerned in the sensitive and porous Indo-Tibetan boundary line, particularly, after the publicised Chinese intrusion into Arunachal’s Chaglagam.
The following facts emerged at the seminar organised by India Foundation in New Delhi held on September 27 and 28: The unique feature of this conference was besides policy makers and subject experts, local people from border villages presented their experiences to the audience.
1. From out of the total of 1,680 km international border line of Arunachal Pradesh touching three countries, Bhutan, Tibet and Myanmar, a long range of 1080 km comes under the Indo-Tibetan international boundary. The range of 10 km from the McMahon Line constitutes 198 border villages, out of which, 118 villages are Buddhist which normally are strongly anti-Chinese due to the Dalai Lama and some other factors. An alarming rate of conversion is taking place in rest of the border villages which might as a case of posibility turn the Nagaland way if proper attention is not drawn.
2. The Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators are rapidly spreading to the nook and corner of Arunachal as a means of cheap labour. In many places like Upper Subansiri and West Siang districts, a new trend is emerging which will be an explosion like Kokrajhar, Assam, in recent future. These Muslim infiltrators often get settled side by side the residence of the indigenous tribals and as a part of ‘Love Jehad’, marry the local innocent tribal girls and obviously, their off-springs are tribal-looking Muslims brought up in the fundamentalist Islamic way. An unofficial survey portrays an alarming picture that at present more than 90,000 Bangladeshis are in Arunachal. Their number is increasing day by day and more than about 200 of them have got married with the Arunachali tribal women inside this sensitive border state.
3. Few months ago in the head quarter of Anjaw district Hawai, a strange trespasser was arrested and during interrogation, he disclosed himself to be a Chinese Muslim and admitted to have come from Myanmar. On further interrogation, he confessed that every year about 300 Chinese Muslims use this track of Arunachal from China to Myanmar and vice-versa. Is there any connectivity between the Rohingyas of Myanmar and the Chinese Muslims? Pictures are to be cleared in future.
4. Due to the military operations in the Indian side, some religious pilgrimages having sacred importance of the indigenous Arunachalis are restricted from paying darshan which fills little amount of irritation among the tribals concerned. The Idu Mishmi tribe to which, it is believed, Lord Krishna's consort Queen Rukmini belonged to, consider Atu-Pupu to be highly sacred and attend it every year as pilgrims. Atu-Pupu is located near the Tibet boundary line. The security agencies do not let the Idus visit the sacred site which as a matter should be properly considered upon.
5. There are many border villages which need 2-3 days of walking from the motorable roads to reach. The PDS, education, electricity and health-care systems need urgent attention. A 50 kilo bag of rice getting sold at Rs 3000 shows the pathetic condition in which the border population is living upon. Due to high mountain altitude, which is often clouded by bad weather, air-dropping in regular intervals is a distant dream. When the Chinese troops are aggressively intruding into, our border people who are a necessary deterrent as India’s civilian security wall is fast migrating towards the towns located in the lower altitudes, is a potent dangerous trend.
6. An interaction and sharing of feeling with the isolated border villagers and the security agencies guarding our border from the Civil Society often soothe up the tense atmosphere. The Arunachal Vikas Parishad, a wing of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, during February 2010, conducted “Seemant Darshan Yatra” which covered 78 border villages of 9 circles from 6 districts and in May 2010, deposited a detailed report of the problems and prospects of the border region to then governor of Arunachal Pradesh Major Gen. J.J. Singh. The FINS conducted “Sarhad ko Pranam” programme in November 2012 also gave a real picture of the Indo-Tibet border. Also, in the coming November 2013, in the coming November 2013, the Samskar Bharati is going to conduct “Sarhad ko Swaranjali” programme to commerate 50 years of Lata Mangeshkar's ever-inspiring patriotic song “Ae Mere Watan ke Logo, Zara Aankh me Bhar lo Paani”, which was sung at the back-drop of the 1962 Indo-Chinese war in Arunachal.
Pathetic Security Scenario at Indo-Tibet Border
A case study of the loose security scenario as was observed by the Arunachal Vikas Parishad needs a revision to our defence set-up in this sensitive Indo-Tibet border considering the often-led intrusions by the Chinese into our territory. The following notes are extremely important especially at the face of the recent infamous Chaglagam intrusion by Chinese.
m ITBP camps are set-up in Chaglagam and Goiliang. Only 25-30 ITBP personnels are posted in these out-posts. These out-posts are 60-100 km away from the LAC.
m ITBP personnels make surveillance of the border once in 2 months. It takes 15 days to complete a round. Everyday after 12 kms of walk, the team reaches a night camp. After 6 days of walk it reaches the LAC.
m There are 6 un-manned check-posts in the region which are supposed to be guarded by ITBP.
m In August 11, 2013, the Chinese Army intruded upto the 4th camp (Plamplam check-post-2nd when it enters from LAC) which means to approximately 35 kms in Indian territory.
m In several places ITBP camps are set-up in civilian inhabited areas. In fact, they should be set-up beyond that. It was also found that there are some Mishmi tribal villages towards LAC beyond ITBP out-post.
m Infrastructural development could have been made up to the 4th out-post where the Chinese troops intruded into and occupied for 3 days during the Aug 11, 2013 intrusion at Chaglagam.
m The present strength of 25-30 ITBP men on frontier cannot make a sense of security, confidence and morale-boosting of the local people. They are worried about their safety on the border.
The fact of the matter is that intrusion in these areas is a regular feature although the Chaglagam incident attracted the media attention for the first time.
m Regular and constant interaction with the civilians and security forces should be there for better understanding and morale-boosting and better security. Because, often the security forces who are normally from the plain states of India can not distinguish the Chinese intruders and their spies in civil dresses, as they look alike the Arunachali border people, which on the other hand, the border villagers can.
m Raise the Arunachali Scouts Regiment at par the Ladakh Scouts to cope with the situation.
m Constitute Border Village Security Committees in the border areas for active involvement of local people in the national cause.
(The writer can be contacted at: [email protected])
BJP North East India Sampark Cell expressed strong dissent on the repeated offenses meted out by Visa officials of People’s Republic of China to dignitaries and citizens from Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The latest addition to this list was that the two archers — MaseloMihu and SorangYumi — were the only ones in the 30-member contingent to have been issued stapled visas for the event starting in Wuxi on October 12.
“This repeated proxy attack on Indian sovereignty through diplomatic means by the Government of China is an attempt to defame and devour Arunachal Pradesh which our Government shouldn’t tolerate and respond in adequate force,” said Shri Sunil Deodhar, national convener of the Cell in a press statement. He said unless India adopts a strict Visa and Import policy the Government of China won’t listen to our issues as they do domestically by ignoring the human rights of their own citizens.
Call back the players from China as protest: ABVP
Strongly condemning the Chinese attempts to hit the Indian sovereignty by issuing stapled visas to the archers of Arunachal Pradesh, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) demanded the Government of India to give a befitting reply to the repeatedly erring dragon. In a statement issued on October 12, ABVP national general secretary Umesh Dutt termed it a calculated move on the part of China to pressurise India.