In a significant development, the government September 16 said that no infiltration has been reported along the India-China border in the last six months. When asked whether cases of infiltration from Pakistan and China has increased during the last six months, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in a written reply, said, "No infiltration has been reported along Indo-China border during last six months."
This comes in the wake of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's statement in the Lok Sabha. On September 15, Singh had said that China was in illegal occupation of about 38,000 sq km of Indian land in Ladakh, besides laying claim to around 90,000 sq km of territory in Arunachal Pradesh.
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"As the House is aware, China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq km in the Union Territory of Ladakh. In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan 'Boundary Agreement' of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq km of Indian territory in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, to China. China also claims approximately 90,000 sq kms of Indian territory in the eastern sector of the India-China boundary in Arunachal Pradesh," the union minister said during the ongoing session in Lok Sabha.
About the infiltration bid from Pakistan, MHA stated that there have been 47 attempts from the neighbouring country since February 2020.
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Asked about what steps are being taken by the Centre to deal with this problem, the ministry, headed by Amit Shah, said, "The government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to contain cross border infiltration, which inter-alia include multi-tiered deployment along the International border/ Line of Control, improved intelligence and operational coordination, border fencing, deploying technological solutions and taking pro-active action against infiltrators."
Addressing the Lok Sabha on September 15, Singh had said that it has been conveyed to China, through diplomatic and military channels, that such actions on its part are being seen as attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo in the region.
"India's position is that while bilateral relations can continue to develop in parallel with discussions on resolving the boundary question, any serious disturbance in peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the border areas is bound to have implications for the positive direction of our ties," Singh said in the Lok Sabha.
Referring to the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15, the Defence Minister said Indian soldiers "inflicted costs including casualties on the Chinese side", adding the House should have "full confidence" that the armed forces will always rise to the challenge and make the country proud.
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"I will not hesitate to share with this august House that we are facing a challenge in Ladakh and I urge the House to pass a resolution in support of our armed forces who have been defending our motherland at great heights and most inclement weather conditions," he said.
The Indian Army and the Chinese People's Liberation Army(PLA) have been locked in a tense standoff in multiple areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh since early May. Shots were fired across the LAC on Monday for the first time in 45 years with the two sides accusing each other of firing in the air.
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In the five rounds of corps commander-level talks, the Indian side has been insisting on immediate restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to April. The face-off began on May 6.