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Threat Perception - Army Beefs Up North East With Eye On China

Threat Perception - Army Beefs Up North East With Eye On China

Author: Bureau Report
Publication: Free Press Journal
Date: September 13, 2009
URL: http://www.freepressjournal.in/fpj/fpj/2009/09/13/index.shtml?Search=Y&ArtId=001_003

Threat of a 1962 repeat looms large. Though played down by the government for diplomatic reasons, additional 30,000 troops with weaponry and artillery support are being rushed to the North East to thwart any Chinese designs. The Army deployment on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China is also being reinforced following the second incursion in the Ladakh region in eight months, first in January and again towards August end.

More worrisome are the Chinese claims on Arunachal Pradesh and repeated incursions in the border villages as also reports of a Chinese military exercise involving 50,000 troops in Tibet.

A highway built by China parallel to the LAC with approach roads intruding into Arunachal Pradesh is also a matter of concern as it can be used by the Chinese Army to move fast with artillery to capture parts of the state.

Not taking these developments lightly, the Indian Army is bracing up for any eventuality, putting the troops on LAC on an operational alert and increasing the vigil in Arunachal Pradesh.

A full mountain division of about 15,000 troops under command of three brigadiers is being stationed in Arunachal Pradesh in areas where the present fortification facing China may be weak. This division will be attached to the 4 Corps based off Tezpur in Assam.

The second division of equal number is being deployed in Manipur and attached to the 3 Corps based out of Dimapur in Nagaland.

This division is placed on the Bangladesh-India-Myanmar tri-axis to handle any threat from the growing influence of China in Myanmar as also to counter the insurgents using it to smuggle in arms. Since raising new divisions takes a lot of time, sources said the Army is pulling officers and troops out of peace postings from across the country to form the two divisions quickly to reinforce India's borders with China and Myanmar.

Defence experts in India are already warning the government that China may resort to the 1962 war-type gamble, though maybe not at that scale, to divert attention of the Chinese people from the rising inflation in the country wrecking their lives.

Writing in Defence Today, a strategic journal, its editor Bharat Verma has claimed that it may be as early as October before the onset of the winter. Sources in the government say such a threat perception has been already discussed by the Army brass at the topmost level, following which the decision was taken to fortify all positions on the LAC.

Retired Major General E D'Souza has even stressed in a reputed Mumbai-based journal, Freedom First, that the government should release the report of the 1962 events written by late General Henderson Brooks of the Maratha Light Infantry as that will help in learning from earlier mistakes.

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