(TibetanReview.net, Jan04’23) – The 240-km border that India’s Himachal Pradesh state shares with Chinese occupied Tibet is far more secure at present than it was about two-and-a-half years ago. However, in order to further improve the situation, more measures are needed, including strengthening the human intelligence by training the state’s police personnel in Tibetan and Chinese languages, reported the zeenews.india.com and the tribuneindia.com Jan 2, citing DGP Sanjay Kundu.
Himachal Pradesh Police is giving training to its personnel in Tibetan and Chinese languages to strengthen the intelligence network in border areas along the border, Kundu has said. The knowledge of these languages would help the force to get a better in-depth understanding of the happenings at the border area, he has said.
The zeenews.india.com report noted that about 21,000 Tibetans live in Himachal.
At least 48 Himachal villages are located near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) out of which 36 fall in Kinnaur which shares a 160-km border while the remaining 12 villages are in Lahaul and Spiti sharing an 80-km border with Chinese ruled Tibet.
In 2020, air-space violations by Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) helicopters were reported on Apr 11 and 20 in Kaurik Sector and this was followed by the Galwan clash incident in neighbouring Ladakh on Jun 15 of the same year.
The report cited officials as saying the state police had also sent a proposal for setting up three counter-espionage units and four new police posts in border areas of Chitkul, Namgya and Chango in Kinnaur district and Sumdo in Lahaul & Spiti district.
The proposal was stated to be based on the report of five IPS (Indian Police Service) officers who had visited the border villages for two weeks following the air-space violations and the Galwan incident.
However, the border is more secure now as compared to 2020 as road infrastructure, air defence capabilities and central intelligence (Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Army) have improved and the communication network is being strengthened, the report cited officials as saying.
“A lot of measures have been taken to secure the state’s border with China. That’s a major reason why this part of the border hasn’t seen any serious incident,” the tribuneindia.com report quoted Kundu as saying.
“Intelligence and communication capabilities have become better and access to Leh and Ladakh has improved following the construction of the Atal Tunnel.”
One of the key findings of the team in the 2020 study was stated to be that the villages were getting depopulated as a result of a lack of economic opportunities, with most of them having only elderly women left behind.
On the other hand, China was stated to be building rapid infrastructure on the occupied Tibet side and re-populating the border villages there.
Kundu has said that a Vibrant Village Programme, which seeks to build infrastructure and tourist centres in villages along the China border, was now also helping in checking depopulation in the area.