Chinese troops damaged stone wall in Arunachal Pradesh: A K Antony
PTI, 21-12-2011 17:05:40

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NEW DELHI: Chinese troops had in July this year damaged a 200 feet stone wall which was built 250 meters inside the Indian territory in Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh, government told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

"As per the established mechanism with China, a strong protest was lodged with the Chinese side on the action of the PLA patrol in a flag meeting (between the two sides)," defence minister A K Antony said.

In reply to a question, the minister said the attempt by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to raze the wall was prevented by the Indian army.

"In July, a PLA patrol attempted to cross a 200 feet wall of loose stones constructed 250 metres on our side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Yangtse area of Tawang, which was prevented by our troops," Antony said.

The stone wall was partially damaged by the PLA patrol, but it has been reconstructed, he said.

The 200-metre long wall was constructed by Indian Army for protection against the icy winds during the patrol duties.

"There is no commonly delineated LAC between India and China and there are few areas along the border where both have different perception of the LAC," Antony said, adding that, both sides patrol upto their respective perceptions of LAC due to its perceived differences in alignment.

Replying to a question on infrastructure development along the Chinese border, he said, 10 railway and 73 roads projects have been identified in North and north eastern regions.

"Army has identified 73 roads as critically and strategically important. In addition to this, 10 railway projects have also been identified for development in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh," Antony said.


SP, RJD oppose Lokpal Bill; BJP mum as Congress ’ready’ for fight

NEW DELHI: As the government prepared to table Lokpal Bill in Parliament on Thursday, Samajwadi Party and RJD today opposed the legislation, contending that it would give "all powers" to the police.

SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad made their opposition known in the Lok Sabha after BSP raised an unrelated issue of manhandling of one of its MPs by SPG personnel inside Parliament complex. Yadav warned the government that the proposed legislation would give "all powers" to the police.

"Lokpal will not be in your hands. It will go to the hands of police. Nothing can be done then against the police," he said and apparently referred to Anna Hazare as he asked whether all this could be done "under pressure of one man".

He said his party will oppose as much as it can. "These powers will go to the police, they will not respect us (MPs). superintendents of police and district magistrates will send us to jail," Yadav said.

"Think over it seriously as to whom you are going to give powers," Yadav told the government. "May you have the powers, I have no objection. Let the Prime Minister have the powers, let (Sharad) Pawar ’sahab’ have the powers, I have no objection. But by giving all powers to the police, what do you want to do with this country?... This incident (of manhandling) has happened today.

See what happens when Lokpal comes," the Samajwadi Party chief said. RJD chief Lalu Prasad joined Yadav, saying that he had not raised any insignificant issue but the government was not paying attention as if it had "disappeared".

Kiran Bedi attacks Sonia

Team Anna member Kiran Bedi on Wednesday attacked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Lokpal issue by sarcastically thanking her while alleging that the bill for setting up an anti-corruption ombudsman was not pathbreaking but breaking the path.

"The bill is not path breaking but breaking the path. Thank you Sonia G," Bedi said in micro-blogging site Twitter.

"Sonia G is saying she is fighting for a Lokpal. Is it for or against Lokpal? For there is nothing for Lokpal," she said reacting to Gandhi’s speech in Congress Parliamentary Party meeting where the Congress chief asserted that she will fight for the passage of the Lokpal bill in Parliament.

Bedi’s remarks came as Gandhi hit out at the Opposition for "obstructionist" tactics and Team Anna for "deliberate and malicious" criticism of the Government on the Lokpal issue.

The Team Anna member was critical of government’s move to keep CBI out of Lokpal’s control, saying this kind of Lokpal Bill better not be passed or else it will destroy whatever is left of CBI.

"The government is creating an anti-corruption body without any wherewithal for investigation. Who is fooling whom?" she said.

"It appears till a provision for immunity is guaranteed for past acts of corruption, political parties will ensure CBI remains in government control," she said, adding it was now ’Save CBI’ campaign.

She also appealed to BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley to help getting CBI out of government control. "Will you (Swaraj) and Mr (Arun) Jaitley get us?" she asked.

Bedi said, "Have you ever heard of creating an investigating body without any investigating body? Are we dumb citizens who can be given anything?"

I will fight for Lokpal Bill: Sonia

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday backed the government on the Lokpal Bill saying she would fight for its passage.

"I will fight for Lokpal," she told reporters after addressing the general body meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP).

She told the MPs that on Tuesday the government has approved the Lokpal Bill, which is to be introduced and passed.

Gandhi referred to the opposition criticism that Congress and the government was not doing anything to tackle the scourge of corruption and said "this is deliberate and malicious misinformation."

No comment on Lokpal bill for now: BJP (IANS)

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday said it will not comment on the Lokpal bill until the final version of the proposed legislation is circulated among MPs.

A day after several BJP leaders said they will protest the bill and called it "cheating the people", party leader S.S. Ahluwalia said no statement could be made without seeing the bill.

"Even a full stop or a comma changes the meaning of a sentence... we will see the bill and only then give any comment," Ahluwalia said.

"Why should we take up the gun, without even knowing what is there in the bill," he said.

(Inputs from PTI and IANS)

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