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VK Singh clarifies that he was misunderstood

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New Delhi: Union minister VK Singh on Thursday triggered a huge row when he spoke of a dog’s stoning while commenting on the burning of two Dalit children. As opposition parties demanded his sacking, the former army chief clarified that he had been misunderstood.

Asked about the gory killings of the children in a Haryana village, the former army chief said: “If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible. It was a feud between two families, the matter in under inquiry.

“Failure of the administration should not be put on the government’s head,” he added.

The opposition immediately pounced on the Bharatiya Janata Party MP.

The Congress sought his removal from the Narendra Modi ministry, adding he should be booked under the law.

“What VK Singh said was shocking, inhuman and unacceptable… I do not understand what is happening to Modi’s ministers,” spokesman Randeep Surjewala told the media.

He said a case should be filed against the minister under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also called for VK Singh’s sacking and a police case against him.

“VK Singh’s statement is shameful and prosecutable,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader tweeted.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also slammed him: “Aghast at the senseless comment made by some BJP leaders… on the tragic Dalit killings in Haryana.”

Amid the volley of criticism, the Minister clarified that his statement wasn’t intended to draw an analogy.

“My men and I put our lives on the line for the nation irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

“I standby to serve India with the same spirit, right now and always. Our nation, its success and its people motivate me daily,” he said in a series of tweets.

He, however, said that “localized issues” should not be blown up.

V.K. Singh’s comments follow the torching of a Dalit family’s house in a village in Faridabad district bordering Delhi in Haryana that left two children dead and their mother in critical condition.

The gory killings have triggered widespread condemnation and large scale street protests.

The minister told CNN-IBN that if “anyone feels if I called Dalit dogs, they are out of their minds”.

Talking to reporters later, the minister sought to blame the media for mixing up his analogy of a dog’s killing with the burning of two Dalit children.

“If the journalist mixes the two (issues), the person should leave journalism and go to the mental asylum in Agra,” he said.

That comment too drew flak even as the BJP tried to defend him.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said: “The minister has given a clarification (that) he was misquoted…. Let us not blow it out of proportion.

“A trend has started to politicize all issues on caste and communal lines. Let us not make everything a caste and communal issue,” said Patra.

(IANS)

(Photo: Indian Express)

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.