The union home ministry on Wednesday said that there had been no infiltration along the India-China border in the last six months.
In a written reply to a question posed by Rajya Sabha MP Dr Anil Agarwal, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said, “No infiltration has been reported along India-China border during the last six months”. He did not give any further clarification. Rai’s reply listed 47 attempts of infiltration from Pakistan since February.
The response has garnered controversy in light of the constant conflict between Chinese PLA and Indian Army in eastern ladakh since May. Questions have been raised as to why India has been demanding the restoration of status quo ante as of April in diplomatic and military meetings if there were no incursions.
However, MHA officials said the answer by Nityanand Rai is not in conflict with what defence minister Rajnath Singh has said. "Infiltration as a terminology is associated with terrorists or action where a hostile element sneaks into our territory and moves to hinterland,” a senior official said.
MHA official added that defence minister Rajnath Singh had also spoken about attempted transgressions by Chinese troops in his address to the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Rajnath Singh in his speech on Tuesday said that Chinese army had made “several attempts to transgress the LAC in parts of the Western Sector” and change the status quo, but those attempts were thwarted by Indian troops and “responded to appropriately”. However, his statement provided no clarity on where the Chinese are on the LAC at present.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in May categorically stated at an all-party meeting that “neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured”, post which the PMO had to clarify that the “observation that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces”.
“…It was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on 15 June arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions.” The statement had raised eyebrows with observers pointing out that if the Chinese sought to “erect structures” on “across the LAC”, it would need to cross the de-facto border.