India Strengthening Security in Arunachal to Enhance Deterrent Capability: Antony

Defence Minister AK Antony has said that India is strengthening its security set up in Arunachal Pradesh to augment its deterrent capability, ruling out, however, any militarization of the north-eastern state, said media reports.

In recent months, China repeatedly raked up its claim over Arunachal Pradesh, objecting even to visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. India strongly objected to China’s claims.

Talking to reporters in Bangalore, Antony said that he didn’t want to steer clear of the question on Arunachal Pradesh.

“We are strengthening capability in that sector also to increase our deterrent capacity,” the minister was quoted as saying. “We are strengthening our security set up in all areas including Arunachal Pradesh because it is integral part of India.”

Antony made it clear that India was stepping up the security not with a view to confront anybody and ‘our considered policy is to be friendly with all our neighbours’, reports said.

Also, the minister said that Indian armed forces were always prepared to respond to any eventuality or threat from any quarters, said reports.

“You are not well informed. There is no question of militarisation of Arunachal Pradesh”, Antony was quoted as saying.

He made the statement while responding to a reporter who asked him about the ‘armed forces plan’ for ‘militarisation’ of the north-eastern state and the ‘logic behind it’, reports said.

In response to a query about deployment of the armed forces for internal security, Antony said that they were meant to protect the borders and ‘every inch of land’ and noted that internal security was the responsibility of state governments and state police and paramilitary forces were supplementing their efforts, reports said.

“Deploying armed forces for internal security is the last, last, last resort,” he was quoted as saying.

(Based on internet reports)

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