Antony denies report on Chinese destruction of Indian bunkers in Sikkim

December 1st, 2007 - 5:58 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudhakar Jagdish
Gangtok, Dec 1 (ANI): Union Defence Minister A K Antony today rejected reports appearing in the media about Indian army posts and a bunker being destroyed by Chinese forces in the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet border tri-junction.
“Nothing has happened in Indian territory,” Antony said, when asked to comment on the media report.
Earlier, a national daily had reported that on November 8, Chinese forces had demolished some unmanned Indian forward posts near two Army bunkers against which Beijing had raised objections since July.
“The Chinese came, destroyed the posts and went back,” the daily quoted an Army officer, as saying.
Antony today said that there are differences in perceptions, both in India and China, about the 3500-km long border that bifurcates the two countries, and added that this difference in perceptions sometimes leads to confusion, which get resolved through periodic flag meetings between the army commanders of the two countries and through diplomatic channels.
He also assured that all efforts would be made in the national security interest.
Despite 22 years of continuous border negotiations, the longest between any two states in modern history, India is the only country with which China has not settled its land frontiers or even fully defined a Line of Control.
China occupies 38,000 square kilometers of Indian Territory in Aksai Chin, 5,180 square kilometers in the Shaksam Valley in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), and staked a claim to 90,000 square kilometers in Arunachal.
The Defence Minister, who is visiting forward posts in Sikkim for the first time after taking over the crucial ministry, also pointed to infrastructures being made by the Chinese on their side, and added that the Indian Government is now seriously planning to construct modern communication infrastructure, particularly in the border states of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
“We will build modern infrastructures on our side, but that does not mean to raise tensions,” he said , adding that building infrastructure in the north-east states as quickly as possible is the “necessity of the day.”
Earlier in the day, he addressed a Sainik Sammelan here where he assured the forces that adequate measures would be taken for their well being.
He admitted that steps taken for the welfare of army jawans, who have to spend most of their time doing their duty in difficult conditions and far away from their families, were currently insufficient.
“Armed forces of the country need better treatment,” he said, adding that his ministry is pursuing a plan for providing better remuneration for the country’s defence services personnel in the Sixth Pay Commission.
Antony said that he had come to Sikkim to acquire a first hand account of the situation on the ground. He is scheduled to meet soldiers deployed at the Nathula Pass on Sunday. (ANI)

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