Friday, 26 October 2012

ITBP may get air wing to better guard China border

The paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the border with China, may get an air wing to better patrol the frontier, its director general said Thursday.

“We are in talks with the government and may get our own air wing to guard the border better,” ITBP chief Ranjit Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of the force’s golden jubilee celebrations.

Though there was an increase in Chinese violations of Indian airspace, the “situation is not alarming”, he noted.

“There were some violations by Chinese helicopters in May and June this year… But there is nothing to worry and the situation is not alarming,” Sinha added.

Raised in 1962 in the wake of the Sino-Indian war, the ITBP is deployed from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Diphu La in Arunachal Pradesh, manning border outposts across 3,488 km at altitudes ranging from 9,000-18,500 feet in the western, central and eastern sectors of the India-China border.

Sinha further said the word intrusion or violation was itself questionable as the international border between the two countries was disputed in some areas.

“A Chinese helicopter may be flying in an area which they consider is theirs but for us that will be an intrusion… It’s better to call them perceived violations.”

The force, he said, was in a “much better position” with respect to the latest arms and ammunition, as well as gadgets.

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