In the wake of reports of Chinese incursions in the Ladakh region, the Bharatiya Janata Party deputed a delegation of its national leaders for an on-the-spot survey after which they demanded that Government stop the practice of issuing inner line permits but open up the area to tourism to defeat the "Chinese design of grabbing the land by inches".
The five-member delegation headed by former Uttrakhand Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, party spokesperson Rajeev Pratap Rudy and former J and K state chief Nirmal Singh visited this area and bordering areas of Nyoma and Demchok, 300 kilometres from southeast of this Himalayan town. "We have come here to ascertain reports about the Chinese incursion and what we have found is shocking...," Rudy told PTI.
This is the first national-level political delegation to visit the far flung areas of this Himalayan town. "The most shocking and frightful site was when we met those nomads and Ladakhi people. They are craving for every inch of land which they see has been encroached since 1962. "The most stunning revelation was that most of the incursion that has taken place from 1965 to 1995 and the Chinese army had come and established posts," said Rudy, who will be submitting a report to party president Nitin Gadkari.
Though the Chinese incursions have been taking place for last five years, they have not set up any posts. "But the major damage has been done between 1965-95," he said.After the briefing by Army's Leh-based 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen S K Singh and other officials, Rudy said the latest strategy that Chinese have developed is that they have pushed their nomads and grazers into Indian territory.
"They are fighting a war through nomads and grazers. There are no conflict zones or day-to-day confrontation with armed forces but they are fighting the battle through nomads on grazing pastures...they are pushing nomads here and there. "Its all about pasture land and gazers and they stand solidly behind these nomads....so they are inching through grazing land," he said.
It may be mentioned that an official report last year of the state government had said "they (Chinese) have threatened the nomadic people who had been using Dokbug area (in Ladakh sector) area for grazing since decades long, in a way to snatch our land in inches. "A Chinese proverb is famous in the world better do in inches than in yards," a report filed by a former Sub Divisional Magistrate (Nyoma) Tsering Norboo had said. Norboo was deputed by the state government to probe complaints of incursion of the Chinese Army in Dokbug area and threats to the local shepherds to leave the land as it belonged to them. The area has been used by the shepherds to graze their livestock it is warmer compared to other parts ofLadakh.
The then Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor had denied there were any serious incursion saying there was difference in perception on the Line of the Acutal Control between the two countries. Rudy said the people in the Indian region felt isolated as their interaction with the rest of the country was virtually nil because of the inner line border permit. "The BJP would strongly like to question why we still have major land masses out of the purview of Indians... no political movement, no tourist movement.
"This isolation is a very very dangerous situation. Why can't Indians move to these areas which are thousands and thousands of miles. By merely visiting these areas and people in the area we can certainly change the complex of the area," he said.
The BJP leader also commented on the bare minimum or zero infrastructure in the area. "The biggest other issue is that they we are zero on infrastructure...we are not able to imagine how will the Indian army will react in condition of conflict or confrontation at those features which are totally inaccessible by the roads today. "We are years behind as far as infrastructure is concerned as this needs an immediate attention from the government," he said.