India says talks on to resolve border issues with China

New Delhi, July 16 (ANI): The Indian Government has said that talks are underway to discuss the latest reports of Chinese helicopters violating the country's airspace, even as New Delhi adds that the incursion row is being taken up at different levels.

Media reports said that two helicopters of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) violated Indian airspace on July 11 in the Chumar sector in Ladakh.

This latest incursion has happened just days after Chinese troops came into Indian Territory and took away surveillance cameras.

Reacting to the report, foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said: "These are all operational issues and these are best addressed to those who are handling these operational matters. If I may just say that in terms of our previous experience, whenever you have come up with these news items about possible differences in terms of where the line of control is, and perhaps Chinese troops infringing on our side as we perceive it, these have been taken up at different levels. They need not be taken at the diplomatic level but there are several other levels of interaction between India and China."

Earlier in April this year, a Chinese platoon had set up a camp about 19 km into Indian territory and had refused to budge for about three weeks, but finally agreed to withdraw troops after negotiations.

The incident had highlighted the delicate nature of relations between the two Asian giants who have a history of an unresolved border dispute on one hand and a booming trade on the other.

China and India disagree about large areas of their 4,000 km (2,500 mile) border and fought a brief war 50 years ago.

India has been beefing up its military presence for several years on the remote Ladakh plateau, building roads and runways to catch up with Chinese development across the border in a disputed area known as Aksai Chin.

Commenting on the trial of the two Italian marines accused of killing Indian fishermen, Akbaruddin said: "The special envoy of the Italian government was here recently and the issue of trying to overcome difficulties in speeding up the trial were discussed. One of those issues relates to what you have indicated. There are several options on the table and this is being discussed between Italy and our authorities who are charged with the investigation because this also involves issues of a legal nature of it being acceptable to courts."

The accused Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, are charged with murder in connection with the shooting of two fishermen off the coast of Kerala last year while serving as security guards on a Naples registered tanker ship.

The two say they fired warning shots at a fishing boat believing it to be a pirate vessel with armed men onboard.

Italy maintains the incident happened in international waters and that the men should be tried on home soil.

Italy opposed India's decision to appoint the anti-terrorism National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the case, saying that the NIA only had the jurisdiction to investigate terrorist crimes.

The European nation fears the NIA will invoke a maritime security law that attracts a mandatory punishment of death, which would violate an assurance given by New Delhi to Rome that the men would not be sent to the gallows. (ANI)


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