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Thu, 12 Dec 2019

Northeast Today

Defence Minister Singh to visit Bum La

Defence Minister Singh to visit Bum La
November 14
09:55 2019

NET Bureau

On his maiden visit to Arunachal Pradesh as Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh will arrive Tawang on Thursday to review the preparedness of security along the Indo-China border; sources in Tawang confirmed this daily on Wednesday.

He is scheduled to lay wreath on the Tawang War Memorial and visit Indian Army post in Bum La (Pass), the last border point along China, demarcated by McMahon Line as Line of Control (LoC), at an altitude of 15,200-feet above sea level on Nov 15. Army personnel guard the frontier in freezing cold there, which could be experienced only by visiting the post. It often remains covered with heavy snow throughout the year and one of the most off-beat passes in the world. This is also referred to as the pass from where Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama had entered India after escaping from Tibet on 30.03.1959. However, this 37-km hilly track from district HQs Tawang though very treacherous but was an old trade road via Milaktang La (Pass) to reach Tsona Dzong in Tibet.

The spot is famous for a Heap of Stones where tourists and visitors place a pebble as a reminder that Mighty Himalayas as our Guardian of Northern Frontier and also as a tribute to Indian Army as guardians of the border. It is but natural that Singh will also place a pebble at Heap of Stones with the same objective.

However, the road to Bum La is also a historical route, the People’s Liberation Army of China had invaded India during the 1962 Chinese aggression and Bum La had witnessed fiercest battle and spoiled bilateral relations. Since then, China has been repeatedly transgressing into Indian Territory claiming this Himalayan state as its territory being part of China as part of its Tibetan territory. An agreement to resolve the dispute was concluded in 1996, including “confidence-building measures” and a mutually agreed LoC. In 2014, India had proposed China should acknowledge “One India” policy to resolve the border dispute.

Thus, Bum La is one of the two border personnel meeting (BPM) points for Armies for both neighbouring nations, which meet twice in a year since India-China signed an agreement to maintain status quo along the international border

However, China invariably objects to visit of Indian Prime Minister to Arunachal while US ambassador to India Richard Verma’s visit to Twang to attend Tawang Festival in 2016 had triggered a verbal spat between India and China. But China had not reacted to similar visit by US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster in October last reflecting Beijing’s acceptance that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, Chief Minister Pema Khandu had categorically told a public meeting here on Nov 5 last.

Singh will also inaugurate a new RCC bridge over Sissari River along NH-52. Constructed by the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation, the bridge was informally opened for commuters after conducting a test drive. The bridge links Aohali in East Siang and Dambuk in Lower Dibang Valley district.

Source: Arunachal Observer

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