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Stop dreaming about Arunachal Pradesh, says Deputy CM Mein to China

China should end its fixation with Arunachal Pradesh: Chowna Mein


Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein has called for China to stop calling his state 'South Tibet' and says every inch of the state belongs to India. 

Speaking to THE WEEK, Mein said, "Let the Chinese not dream about Arunachal Pradesh. Every inch of the state belongs to India. Everyone in the state proudly chants 'Jai Hind' and 'Bharat Mata KI Jai'. China should end its fixation with Arunachal Pradesh."

Mein's comments come amid reports that China, in the backdrop of tensions with India in eastern Ladakh, is trying to fuel insurgency in Arunachal Pradesh by trying to influence young people in border villages. Recently, five hunters from a border village in Arunachal Pradesh accidentally strayed into the Chinese territory and were captured by the Chinese army. After hectic discussions, they were released to the Indian Army. 

Initially, the Chinese foreign ministry had denied locating the youth, using the moment as a chance to restate China's position on Arunachal Pradesh.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian had said, “China has never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh, which is China’s south Tibet region, and we have no details on Indian Army sending a message to PLA [People's Liberation Army] about five missing Indians in the region”. 

According to the Army, this was the third such instance of young people in border villages in Arunachal Pradesh straying inadvertently to the Chinese side. 

“The Indian Army has always been proactive in tracing the lost locals and helping them return home. Three such incidents took place in the current year in Upper Subansiri and West Siang district, including the latest one,” the Army said in a statement.

Mein said people in border villages in Arunachal Pradesh are known for guarding the Indian territory along with the Army and paramilitary forces.

"I hope there is no migration from these border villages to towns in the state and other states in the country. For that proper developmental activities need to take place in these border villages. There should be good connectivity to these border villages. We are working on it, and the Centre is providing us all the help," said Mein. 

Recently, Mein asked the Border Road Organisation to speed-track the two-laning of the road from Chowkham Tri-junction in Namsai district to Parasuram Kund in Lohit district. More roads are being planned in border villages, he said. 

The Congress chief in Arunachal Pradesh and former chief minister of the state, Nabam Tuki, said it is a scary security situation in the state after the military escalation with China in Ladakh. 

Speaking to THE WEEK, Nabam Tuki said, "The Centre needs to do a lot more to improve the situation in the border villages in the state. It is the people there who are guarding these villages, so proper infrastructure, electricity and schools should be available for all of them. Even today, it is very difficult to reach some of these border villages."

Tuki said he doesn't believe there are chances of insurgency in the state. "There will never be an armed insurgency in Arunachal Pradesh, unlike some other northeastern states. Every person in the state loves being an Indian, and they are always loyal to their country," he said.