Not an inch ceded to China: Antony
‘This government keeps a constant watch on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard India’s security and would continue to strengthen our capabilities in border areas to protect our national interest,’ said Antony.
The defence minister’s statement came amidst reports in a section of media that alleged that the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) headed by former foreign secretary Shyam Saran had reported after a visit to Ladakh that Indian troops are cut off from the border and are being prevented by the Chinese army from patrolling near Daulat Beg.
Antony, in his statement, said Saran had visited Ladakh from 2 to 9 August and submitted a report on the border infrastructure there. ‘I would like to categorically state that Saran has not stated in his report that China has occupied, or has denied access to India to any part of Indian territory. I would like to assure the House that there is no question of India ceding to China any part of Indian territory,’ said Antony.
Antony also said unlike in the past India is catching up with China and that is why every year we are complaining of incursions. ‘On the one side, since China has built up enough capabilities and are still continuing, regarding that there is no compromise. We will strengthen our capabilities, we will protect every Indian inch of land,’ said Antony.
The report by Saran, Antony said, focuses on border infrastructure but also deals with several aspects relating to the region covering a broad spectrum of activities and requirements. He said Saran’s report also deals with requirement of air facilities in Ladakh region along with matters relating to land acquisition and environmental and wildlife clearances.
‘Matters such as employment opportunities to local youth, tourism, mobile and internet connectivity, law and order, better equipment and facilities for ITBP, certain grievances of local people, among others have been covered in the report,’ said Antony.