GUWAHATI, Sept 1 - The decision to set up a hotline for regular communication between the Indian Army and People�s Liberation Army (PLA) of China at the level of the Director General of Military Operation (DGMO) will be immensely beneficial in maintaining peace and tranquillity along the international border as there have been a number of incursions.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the decision to set up a hotline between the DGMOs of the armed forces of both the countries were taken during the recent visit of the Chinese Defence Minister to India. However, the date from which the hotline would become operational has not yet been decided.
Sources revealed that at present, such hotlines are in operation between Indian Army and PLA at Brigadier level in three places. The Brigade Majors posted in Tawang, Ladakh and Nathula regularly communicate with their counterparts across the border regularly to resolve minor issues like incursions by the army personnel and local people, mostly graziers but whenever a major dispute comes up, it is not possible for them to resolve the issue at the local level. Sources said setting up of a hotline at the level of the DGMO would be immensely beneficial as the DGMO normally passes the orders to the forces operating on the ground and they will be in a much better position to resolve any problem along the international border.
Security sources admitted that because of lack of a well defined and marked border with China, incursions are common practices. �It is a fact that sometimes, Chinese army personnel cross over to India on purpose and Indian armymen have to deal with the situation. But sometimes, patrol parties of both the countries cross over to each other�s territory accidentally and such issues are resolved at the Brigade level. Quite often, the people living along the border, particularly graziers, also cross over into each other�s territory and whenever such incidents take place, the issues are resolved at the local level. But there are occasions when the trouble becomes more serious and the senior officers of the level of the DGMO would be able to deal with such problems,� sources pointed out.
Sources also revealed that border personnel meeting huts have already been constructed in three places along the international border where the army officers meet periodically to ensure that peace and tranquillity is maintained along the border. In fact, China had initially opposed construction of a border personnel meeting hut at Bumla, ahead of Tawang, because the Chinese have been staking claim over the territory. But finally, the Chinese allowed the Indian Army to construct the building.
Meanwhile, sources alleged that there have been instances where walkie talkie sets were found with the Chinese graziers who cross over to India. �This raised doubts on whether they were actually local graziers or PLA personnel sneaking into India in the guise of graziers as local people living along the international borders are not expected to carry walkie talkie sets,� sources pointed out.
Sources also said that such a hotline between the DGMOs of India and Pakistan is in operation from some time now.