Addressing reporters on the eve of the 58th Raising Day of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), its Director General (DG) S S Deswal said the "status quo" at the 3,488-km LAC between India and China is maintained and that the paramilitary force is making efforts to have "better capacity" than the neighbour.
The ITBP, guarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, has “enhanced” its capacity to reach up to the farthest border point and added 25 posts in the past five years to ensure effective preparedness on this icy front marred by perceptional difference of the borderline, a top official said on Wednesday.
Addressing reporters on the eve of the 58th Raising Day of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), its Director General (DG) S S Deswal said the “status quo” at the 3,488-km LAC between India and China is maintained and that the paramilitary force is making efforts to have “better capacity” than the neighbour.
Asked about the number of incidents of transgressions or incursions by the Chinese PLA troops in the recent past, Deswal refused to give absolute numbers but said the Indian side is “as aggressive” as the Chinese. “We are continuously increasing border posts, we have increased patrolling and in the last five years we have created 25 new border out posts or BOPs,” Deswal said. He added each BOP was a “company level strength”, meaning about a hundred troops.
In the last 5-6 years, ITBP has had “rapid improvement” in infrastructure and roads in these border areas. In the first phase, 11 roads totalling 270 km have been completed and in the second phase, 45 roads with a length of 1,033 km will be completed in the coming months, said the DG, who heads the about 90,000 personnel strong mountain-warfare trained force.
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“We are also upgrading our surveillance technology at the border and we have created a lot of infrastructure, border roads, BOPs and have sent high-powered vehicles at high-altitude posts on this front,” he said. The mechanism (vis-a-vis interaction with the Chinese troops) at the border is “perfect” and the border is absolutely safe and secure, he added.
To a question if any standoff was reported between the two sides after the recent informal summit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping at Mamallapuram, the DG said that national security and diplomatic efforts are “delinked” and should be seen in that context.
“Irrespective of these things, we remain on alert and in a state of continuous guard,” Deswal said. The ITBP was raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression under the Union home ministry and apart from its primary task of guarding the LAC, it renders a variety of internal security duties.