Antony to review northeast security, defence preparedness

February 17th, 2011 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Against the backdrop of China’s rapid military modernisation in Tibet, Defence Minister A.K. Antony will visit the northeastern states for two days from Friday to review the security situation and infrastructure developments ordered there by the government. Antony will be accompanied on the trip by the army chief, General V.K. Singh and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar.

“Defence Minister A.K. Antony will be going on a two-day visit to the northeast beginning tomorrow to review the security situation there and the progress of infrastructure development,” a defence ministry spokesperson said here Thursday.

Antony will be visiting Tezpur and Chabua in Assam, Rangapahar military station in Nagaland, Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh and Leimakhong in Manipur during the visit. All these places have witnessed increased deployment of the armed forces in the recent years.

India last year based a frontline Sukhoi SU-30 fighter squadron at Tezpur to shore up its aerial offensive measures and there are plans for another Sukhoi squadron at Chabua too, both facing China. Tezpur is also home to the Indian Army’s 4 Corps.

Under the Rangapahar-based 3 Corps, a new mountain division with about 15,000 troops has been raised to boost the army’s mountain warfare capabilities. Another mountain division, under the command of 4 Corps, has been raised at Leimakhong in Manipur. The army has also raised a new regiment called the Arunachal Scouts in Arunachal Pradesh.

Antony is expected to visit these new formations of the army and the air force to review their deployment and operational readiness, apart from going to the forward areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Arunachal Pradesh.

China has been claiming the whole of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.

On Wednesday, Antony said India was “not unduly worried” over China’s military modernisation, though the neighbour’s defence budget was a matter of concern.

“Modernisation of China’s armed forces and its ever increasing military spending is a matter of serious concern. But we are not unduly worried because what we need to do is we have to modernise our own armed forces,” he told reporters here.

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