Its DG says there is no delineation of border between India and China-no clear marking

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Thursday said China violated Indian airspace at least two to three times this year, though the paramilitary force played down the incident stating that it could be due to no clear marking of the India-China border.

“There have been two to three air violations… it happened in May and June this year. Three places they [Chinese] had flown… but they are at higher altitude and it is difficult to determine how far they had come,” ITBP Inspector General M.S. Bhurji told journalists here.

However, ITBP Director General Ranjit Sinha said: “There is no delineation of the border between India and China… there is no clear marking. They may consider violations of air space by our side even if we are flying inside the border.”

Under check

Talking about land intrusions from the Chinese side, Mr. Sinha said the ITBP jawans had been able to keep a check on such instances. “There are perceived [land] violations. Since the Line of Actual Control is also a perceived LAC… it is a grey area. It is not right to say that intrusion has increased. The border is disputed... the LAC is perceived differently from both sides. Air space intrusion is of the same kind,” Mr. Sinha pointed out.

The ITBP chief said the 77,000-strong force deployed along the 3,488-km border with China was also considering establishing its air wing. “We do not have any air wing. I feel that the government is looking into it. Whenever there is a need we take help from the Air Force.”

Better than in 1962

Asked if the ITBP was better equipped to deal with contingencies such as the 1962 India-China war, Mr. Sinha said: “We are in a better condition as compared to 1962… our deployment has been increased there [along the India-China border],” he added.

Talking about the ITBP’s future plans, Mr. Sinha said 12,000 more jawans would be added to the force to take its total strength to 89,000 by 2015. He said the paramilitary force was also deployed in Maoist-affected areas in Chhattisgarh and has so far carried out 3,243 operations. It has also contributed to United Nations Peace keeping missions in Angola, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mozambique, Kosovo, Sudan and Fiji.

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