By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, Sept 27: Chinese aggression along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Galwan Valley where 20 Indian and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers were killed in a brutal brawl on June 15 leading to prolonged standoff is expected between both armies had sent a message causing fear among people about possible war.
India shares a long 3,488-km border with China, starting from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. As Arunachal shares longest 1,080-km border, Indo-China bitter standoffs was causing tension but Indian Army upped its ante by adequate deployment of forces with arms and ammunition besides Indian Air Force making regular surveillance.
Responding to question on Sunday, Lumla lawmaker Jambey Tashi said the borer is totally peaceful. A senior army officer also dittoed his opinion.
Aggressive China in October 1962 had fought in in Lumla sub-division, which touches MacMahon Line, the de facto boundary between India and China in the eastern sector, thathad claimed lives of four divisions of Indian Army at Hatung La pass for want of communication, winter clothes, food and ammunition at the height of 14,500 feet. The wound is still fresh in the minds of the forces deployed there and they observe lot of rituals to honour the martyrs and officers whose souls, they believe, are not liberated so far as bodies of most of them were not recovered and their last rites are yet to be conducted.
The Hatung La and Thag La passes are still standing tall while Nyamjang Chu and Namka Chu (rivers) witnesses to the gory conflict but the gallant acts of Indian forces still flow as usual, whose green waters ask – Is India ready for trial of strength?
After 1962, an army brigade was set up in that border area where Hatung La connected by road is the last border post. I had visited Lumla in December 2012 when 16 Rajputana Rifles was deployed there. Its commanding officer Col Vijay R Jagtap had developed a very good relations with the civilians.
It is note worthy to mention here that reacting to Chinese aggression, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sept 2 last had said with assertion in Washington: “The entire world is beginning to unite against China‘s unfair practices and countries like India, Australia, Japan and push back Beijing on every front. Beijing under President Xi Jinping is testing the world to see if anyone is going to stand up to its threats and bullying”.
“I am more confident than I was even a year ago that the world is prepared to do that. There’s a lot more work to do, and we need to be serious about it,” top American diplomat had said.
In his testimony, Pompeo told lawmakers that India has banned 106 Chinese applications that threatened its citizens’ privacy and security.
“Our diplomatic efforts are working and momentum is building to mitigate the threats that the Chinese Communist Party presents. All 10 ASEAN nations have insisted that the South China Sea disputes be settled on the basis of international law, including United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Japan led the G-7’s condemnation of China’s national security law targeting Hong Kong,” he had said.
“Our QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) — the US, Australia, India, and Japan — has been reinvigorated. We’ve worked hard at this. Our diplomats have done wonderful work. I’m very proud of the progress we are making. In addition to these multilateral efforts, Department of Justice is cracking down on Chinese intellectual property threats,” he had added.