Home Minister Amit Shah in Kibithoo, a border village on the doorstep of China, in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday (Image courtesy: Ministry of Home Affairs)
In a strong message to Beijing, delivered right on the doorstep of China in Arunachal Pradesh, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday that no one can take an inch of the country’s land till the Indian forces are guarding the border.
“Today, we say with pride that gone are the days when anybody could encroach on India’s land. Today, we can proudly say that no one can encroach even a tip of a pin’s worth of our land because the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Indian Army are present at our borders,” said Shah while launching the ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ in the village of Kibithoo at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
Saluting the sacrifices made by all jawans, Shah emphasised that no one can cast an “evil eye” on India because our soldiers are working day and night on the borders.
“Whosoever came to encroach the land here in 1962 had to return because of your patriotism,” he stated.
Speaking at the launch of ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ from Kibithoo, the border village of Arunachal Pradesh and India’s easternmost place. #VibrantVillagesProgram https://t.co/MRbQxWzMkW
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 10, 2023
The programme is a centrally-sponsored scheme under which 2967 villages in 46 blocks of 19 districts abutting the northern border in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and UT of Ladakh have been identified for comprehensive development. In the first phase, 662 villages will be prioritized, including 455 in Arunachal Pradesh.
The launch becomes highly significant as analysts see it as India’s riposte to China’s cartographic invasion of Arunachal, which Beijing claims as South Tibet. Earlier this month, China renamed 11 locations in Arunachal as its own, rejecting India’s sovereignty in the border state.
“Before 2014, the entire Northeast region was known as a disturbed region but in the last nine years, because of PM Modi’s ‘Look East’ policy, the Northeast is now considered an area which contributes to the development of the country,” said Shah.
“Kibithoo is India’s first village and not the last village. Earlier when people visited here, they used to say that ‘I had gone to the last village of the country’ but today, I’ll say that I visited the first village of India,” added the Home Minister.
#WATCH | Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Dibrugarh, Assam, today. He was received by CM Himanta Biswa Sarma.
HM Shah will will launch ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ in Kibithoo today, a border village in Arunachal Pradesh. pic.twitter.com/5fRtUq1uye
— ANI (@ANI) April 10, 2023
Central components of Rs 4800 crore including Rs 2500 crore exclusively for road connectivity for the financial years 2022-23 to 2025-26 have been assigned for the VVP, which will majorly focus on road construction.
The district administration with the help of appropriate mechanisms at the block and panchayat levels will prepare action plans for the identified villages to ensure 100% saturation of central and state schemes. The focus areas of interventions identified for the development of villages include road connectivity, drinking water, electricity including solar and wind energy, mobile and internet connectivity, tourist centers, multi-purpose centers and healthcare infrastructure and wellness centers.
Shah will also inaugurate nine Micro Hydel Projects of the Arunachal Pradesh government constructed under the ‘Golden Jubilee Border Illumination Programme’ in Kibithoo. These electricity projects will empower people living in border villages.
Later, he will inaugurate Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) projects to augment infrastructure at Likabali (Arunachal Pradesh), Chapra (Bihar), Nooranad (Kerala), and Vishakapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).
On Tuesday, Home Minister will visit Namti field and pay homage at the Walong War Memorial.
Also Read: Amit Shah to visit Arunachal Pradesh today, interact with ITBP personnel in Kibithoo