BJP MP Tapir Gao and the president of the Arunachal Pradesh unit of ruling party BJP has fueled controversy when he gave his statement on the reports that China has built a 100-house village deep inside Arunachal Pradesh.
“Since the 1980s, China has been occupying areas in Arunachal Pradesh and the construction of villages is not a new thing. They have already constructed a military base between Bisa and Maza which is inside McMahon Line, under Indian territory”, ANI quoted BJP MP Tapir Gao as saying on Tuesday.
He further added “They’ve built Longju to Maza road. During Rajiv Gandhi’s regime, China occupied Sumdorong Chu Valley in Tawang. The then Army Chief planned an op (operation), but Rajiv Gandhi denied him permission to push back PLA.”
He then went on to blame “wrong policies” of the previous Congress governments, “There was a wrong policy of government during Congress regime. They didn’t construct roads up to the border which left a buffer zone of 3-4 km which China occupied. Construction of new villages isn’t a new thing, it’s all inherited from Congress.”
Tapir, however failed to mention why such blatant encroachment was allowed during the regime of the current government ruled by his party.
Constant watch on all developments
BJP MP Tapir Gao’s comments came a day after India said it is keeping a “constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security” following news reports that China has allegedly built a village on the banks of River Tsari Chu in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal.
The newly formed village has 101 homes and is reported to encroach approximately 4.5 kilometers into Indian territory, reports added.
Reacting to these reports, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “We have seen recent reports on China undertaking construction work along with the border areas with India. China has undertaken such infrastructure construction activity in the past several years.”
The MEA added that in response India has stepped up infrastructure work in border areas including the construction of roads, bridges, etc, “which has provided much-needed connectivity to the local population along the border”.
Warning China to not indulge in activities that harm India’s sovereignty, the MEA said, “The government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all the necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Several Congress MPs on Monday said reports about Chinese construction activity on the Arunachal Pradesh border were very serious and asked the government to make its response public.
Arunachal Pradesh is an Indian state, but China claims it as its own territory. There is a border dispute between the two neighboring countries and there has been a troops build-up in eastern Ladakh after a bloody clash between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation of Army (PLA) of China in June last year.
India lost 20 soldiers in the Galwan valley clash. China also lost many soldiers but did not disclose the number of casualties.