A committee tasked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to assess the situation on the China border is understood to have reported that Indian troops are not being allowed to patrol up to the perceived Line of Actual Control by Chinese army.
The team, headed by National Security Advisory Board chairman Shyam Saran, visited Ladakh between August 2 and 9 to review the border infrastructure development and the situation there. It is believed to have said that Chinese troops have built motorable roads inside the LAC perceived by India in Daulat Beg Oldie and other sectors in Ladakh and that patrolling by Indian troops was being prevented, sources said.
The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha on Thursday by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha who said media reports have quoted the committee as having concluded that 640 sq km of Indian territory has been occupied by China. He wanted Defence Minister A K Antony to immediately clarify the situation in Parliament. The government agreed, saying Antony will be requested to make a statement by 1 pm tomorrow or as early as possible.
"The Parliament is unaware of this... The defence minister should be called immediately to the House and he should clarify on the issue. There should be a debate in the House," Sinha said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the government understands the seriousness of the matter but cannot make a statement immediately. "I will request the defence minister to make a statement tomorrow (on Friday)," he said. However, this did not satisfy the opposition benches and members from the BJP, Shiv Sena and Samajwadi Party, among others were on their feet.
Photograph: Courtesy: indiandefencereview