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“We Are Firmly In Control”: Lt Gen RP Kalita on Army-PLA Faceoff in Arunachal

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This was the first incident of its kind after the June 15, 2020 incident in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley
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Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita takes charge as GOC in Kolkata
Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita | file

Guwahati: Eastern Army commander Lieutenant General RP Kalita asserted that the situation in border areas along India’s northern frontier was “firmly in control”. He made this statement on the occasion of Vijay Diwas on Friday.

The statement came days after Army and Chinese PLA witnessed a faceoff in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh. In the faceoff, both security forces engaged in a scuffle resulting in injuries of a few soldiers on both sides. However, the faceoff did not last long and the Army made the Chinese PLA forces to retreat.

Kalia said, “I would like to assure everybody that the situation along the northern areas is stable and we are firmly in control.”

He added that the Indian forces on the ground firmly contested the PLA’s transgression in Tawang. “PLA patrol has transgressed, was contested very firmly which led to some physical violence but it was contained at the local level by following existing protocols. The issue has been resolved further in the flag meeting in Bumla,” he added.

At least six Indian soldiers were reportedly injured in a clash with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Yangtse, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on December 9. Reports said that there were some 600 PLA soldiers when the clashes took place.

This was the first incident of its kind after the June 15, 2020 incident when 20 Indian soldiers were killed and several others were injured in violent clashes with the PLA troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.

In certain areas along the line of actual control (LAC) in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh, there were areas, wherein both sides patrol the area up to their claim lines since 2006.

The incident also sparked political debates in the Parliament with the Opposition blaming the government for maintaining a ‘soft’ stand against China. On the other hand, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma criticised the Opposition and said that in cases of national security, the Opposition must stand by the forces and the government. “The Congress just wanted to make a ‘tamasha’ out of it,” he said.

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