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North-east gets its first scout battalion
PTI/Correspondent SHILLONG, NOV 10:
Published on 11 Nov. 2010 12:02 AM IST
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With the raising of the Arunachal Scouts here today, North-east got its first-ever scout battalion. “It is a long felt demand of the state which has been realised today. And since the battalion is born out of the Assam Regiment, it will be a living symbol of martial strength and traditions of the North East,” Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu said at the Assam Regimental Centre here.
The new battalion will be gradually deployed in Arunachal Pradesh, which shares boundaries with China, Myanmar and Bhutan, and would work in coordination with the army command. The traditions of the people and their inborn ability of surviving in all kinds of adverse conditions and treacherous terrain would be the core strength of the battalion, he said adding that it is an opportunity to the people of Arunachal to take part in the nation’s defence. Raised on the concept of “Sons of the soil” the Arunachal Scouts battalion will undergo a gradual process of growth before becoming operationally active.
“The raising of Arunachal Scouts will help the country in defending its border,” Khandu said, while apprising them of the challenges that lay ahead of them and expressed confidence that the unit will live up to the expectations of the people and the country.
After the 1962 Sino-Indian War, the Ladakh Scouts were raised in June 1963. It gained the status of a full-fledged infantry regiment after it became one of the first units to take part in the Kargil conflict with Pakistan. Today’s raising day parade, commanded by Lt Col Anuj Jain, was witnessed by Maj Gen R N Singh, Colonel of the Assam Regiment and several other senior serving and retired officers.
“Places in Arunachal Pradesh are situated at very high altitudes. Not everyone is skilled to operate in those places. Youths from Arunachal are the best choice in these places. The men from this battalion will also bridge the language and maintain a good relation with the civilian population,” Khandu added.
India-China border peaceful: Khandu
Terming the situation along the India-China border as ‘peaceful’, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu Wednesday denied of any Chinese threats.
“The situation along the borders is peaceful. There are no Chinese threat at the moment and our relations with China have been friendly,” Khandu told journalists at Assam Regimental Centre here. Asked to comment on Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statement on China was preparing to attack India, the Chief Minister said, the Centre is well aware of the developments and there is no such intrusion.
On Tuesday, the former Defence Minister said in the Lok Sabha that he had ‘specific’ inputs that China was preparing to attack India ‘anytime soon’ and was ‘daily’ occupying an inch of the country’s land. Yadav also urged the government to take the China threat seriously because ‘everybody knows what happened in 1962’. ‘China is laying claim on several of our states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and also Ladakh,’he said.
The India-China border along Arunachal Pradesh is separated by the McMahon Line, an imaginary border now known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
India and China fought a border war in 1962, with Chinese troops advancing deep into Arunachal Pradesh and inflicting heavy casualties on poorly armed Indian troops. The border dispute with China was inherited by India from British rulers, who hosted a 1914 conference with the Tibetan and Chinese governments that set the border in what is now Arunachal Pradesh.
China has never recognised the 1914 McMahon Line and claims 90,000 sq km, including nearly all of Arunachal Pradesh. India accuses China of occupying 8,000 sq km in Jammu and Kashmir.
After 1962, tensions flared again in 1986 with Indian and Chinese forces clashing in Sumdorong Chu valley of Arunachal Pradesh. Chinese troops reportedly built a helipad in the valley leading to the fresh skirmishes.

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