Defence forces on toes in six ‘disputed’ areas along LAC in Arunachal Pradesh


(This story originally appeared in on Sep 19, 2020)

Guwahati: Indian defence forces have raised the level of preparedness and alertness to monitor Chinese activities at all “six disputed areas” and “four sensitive areas” in the war theatre of 1962 in Arunachal Pradesh.

“Four of the disputed areas are in Asapila, Longzu, Bisa and Majha in Upper Subansiri district where the Chinese PLA has already built a road through Bisa from one point of the LAC to another,” a top defence source said.

“China claims the entire Asapila sector as its territory and it is a disputed area. This high-altitude area is a difficult position for both the Chinese and Indian armies and Chinese PLA cannot afford to occupy this area, especially during the winter. They will be cut off for nearly six months,” he added. In May, the Chinese PLA had abducted a 21-year-old youth of the state from the Asapila sector and later returned him to Indian authorities after 19 days.

The other two disputed areas are Tulung-la and Yangtse in Tawang district, the epicentre of the 1962 war between the two countries. It was Tulung-la on October 20, 1975, where the Chinese forces had crossed over and later four Assam Rifles jawans were killed.

“A transgression by the Chinese army in the Yangtze area was reported in 2016, but there was no occupation,” the source added.

Prominent among the sensitive areas are two formations known as Fishtail 1 in Dibang Valley district and Fishtail 2 in Anjaw district. “These two formations were left out from the maps prepared by the Survey of India in the 1960s despite the fact these two areas had been under the control of India. The Chinese PLA occupied the two formations in 1962 and later withdrew after the unilateral ceasefire,” the source said.

The other two sensitive areas are Thag-la in Tawang district and Dichu (Kibitu) in Anjaw district. Thag-la ridge was one of the battle hotspot in 1962.India has deployed its Special Forces units in the Dibang Valley and the newly upgraded and activated advanced landing grounds at Walong, Alo, Tuting, Pasighat and Vijaynagar.

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