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September 24, 2015

Home Minister Rajnath Singh spends night 2 km from China border


An unexpected 7-hour road trip along the Indus on the Indo-China border and a surprise night stay at a forward border post just a couple of kilometers from Actual Line of Control, Home Minister Rajnath Singh made the most of bad weather on his Ladakh trip.  On Tuesday morning, heavy clouds would not allow his chopper to take off for visits to BOPs Chushul, Hot Spring and Chungtash and a boat patrol on Pangong Lake before returning to Leh for a night stay.
 "The option was to sit in Leh or fly back to Delhi. The ITBP offered a road trip to Dungti BOP but it would be a 7-hour journey with bad road patches. The HM said he was game," a close aide of the minister told ET.  Singh has Z-plus cover from NSG and an Advance Security Liaison is done before his visits - the new schedule and an inclusion of a night stay at Dungti BOP hence was a security surprise too. "We would not have been able to do so in Srinagar. But Ladakh is a sanitized zone. The local SP and NSG accompanied him," the aide said. At Dungti BOP, HM slept in a modest room - the Chinese BOP can be seen at a distance of 2 kilometers.
 "We believe he is the first HM to stay the night at an advance border post," his aides say. They add that the unplanned road trip enabled the HM to assess the most important facet - poor condition of roads on China border. At a mid-way halt at Tagyarmale BOP, the HM found the post had no electricity and he had to address jawans in light provided by his convoy's headlights. There was no mobile connectivity at Tagyarmale and Dungti.  Singh would now press to fast-track construction of the Leh-Demchowk road and the Leh-Chushul-Luma road.

economictimes

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