Dhumal flays China after air intrusion

Shimla : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Thursday hit out at China after two Chinese helicopters reportedly sneaked into Indian airspace.

Citing media reports, legislator Ram Lal Markandey said the helicopters were spotted by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) March 16 at Kaurik, close to the international border in the Spiti Valley.

The chief minister said he had been warning the central government about Chinese intentions for a long time.

He accused China of perpetually complaining about everything India did.

“The visit of Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) to Arunachal Pradesh and the movement of the Dalai Lama within India irks China,” Dhumal said.

“There have been reports of China strengthening its infrastructure. China has installed missiles in Tibet that can target any Indian city.

“I have apprised the government in this regard a number of times and requested them to strengthen the infrastructure along the border areas.

“I have met the prime minister three-four times (asking him) to take necessary measures to safeguard the state,” Dhumal said.

The chief minister said at times Chinese aircraft enter Indian airspace from one side and land in Pakistan.

“It is a serious issue and needs the central government’s attention.”

Dhumal said he visited the India-Tibet border in 2010 and saw for himself the preparations on the other side.

Markandey, quoting the media reports, said the latest intrusion was the second of its kind in four months.

“We have sent a report about the incident to the home ministry,” a newspaper quoted ITBP deputy inspector general P.S. Papta as saying.

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