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LAC row | Not an inch ceded to China, says Union Minister

Kishan Reddy. File   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said on Tuesday that the government “has not and will not cede an inch” of territory to China.

Also read | India, China undertake limited disengagement of troops along LAC

In retort to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s tweet asking if the Chinese had occupied Indian territory in Ladakh, Mr. Reddy tweeted, “One morning” Congress Shahzada woke up in the night thinking India was still under his great-grandfather. Pt. Nehru on Sep 10, 1959 admitted in Parliament that a road was built in Ladakh many years later & he was unaware. This @narendramodi Govt has not and will not cede an inch.”

Also read | Did Nehru really accept the Sino-British Treaty as final word on the border issue?

Several skirmishes have occurred between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at several points of the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh and Sikkim since May 5. The two countries are engaged in dialogue at military and diplomatic level to ease the standoff. The government is yet to call an all party meet or brief the Opposition on the ongoing standoff.

In his tweet, Mr. Reddy attached a copy of the 1959 debate in Rajya Sabha where former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who also held the external affairs portfolio, presented a white paper on the difference of perception along the China border.

The motion on India-China relations was moved by Rajya Sabha member Dr H.N. Kunzru, who said in his opening remarks that the “differences regarding certain border areas between India and China along the India-Tibet border have existed for sometime, and the White Paper that has been supplied to us shows that these differences have existed for at least seven years. They are along the frontier from Ladakh to NEFA (present day Arunachal Pradesh).”

Also read | A phantom called the Line of Actual Control

A part of the debate shared by Mr. Reddy on Twitter quoted Mr. Nehru that the government discovered a year ago (in 1958) that a road had been built across Yehchong in the north-east corner of Ladakh and it did not know where it was. Mr. Nehru replied that the area was uninhabitable and there was no administration within hundred miles and “it is a territory where not even a blade of grass grows, about 17,000 feet high. It adjoins Sinkiang.” Mr. Nehru added then that a group of explorers comprising mountaineers was sent to the area to check and one of the groups was apprehended by the Chinese government.

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“The men belonging to that group were released later on. Now, possibly it was an error or a mistake or wrong on my part not to have brought that fact before the House. I am myself not clear, thinking back on that, what I should have done but our difficulty then was that we were corresponding with the Chinese Government and we were waiting for those people, that little party, to come here and tell us as to what happened to them. It took two or three months for them to come. The group which was apprehended by the Chinese was released later and the men came back after some time. We thought at that time that it might be easier for us to deal with the Chinese Government without too much publicity of this incident. We might have been wrong but it was not a crisis or anything like that. However, I am prepared to admit that it was my error not to have brought this matter to the notice of Parliament when it occurred, For the rest, there has been no keeping back really of any information and we have kept Parliament fully informed,” Mr. Nehru informed the Rajya Sabha.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:59:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mos-home-raises-1959-debate-by-nehru-on-china/article31789685.ece

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