Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Avian Intrusions over the Red Line

'Civilian' pigeon?
According to The Asian Age, “Pigeons with Chinese tags lead to a stir in Arunachal Pradesh.”
The reporter mentioned that villagers caught some tagged pigeons in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The tags being written in Chinese created anxious moments for the villagers in the Lohit Valley.
The Anjaw district is strategically  located south of the McMahon Line
The Asian Age said: “The villagers who spotted the pigeons reported the issue to the local police and handed over the pigeons trapped by them. While it is not known if the pigeons were fitted with transmitters or spying equipment, security sources told this newspaper it had come to their notice and they are examining the tags. The sources didn’t rule out the possibility of China using these pigeons for surveillance of frontier areas and townships.”
Only after inquiry, we should know.

Chinese Markings
The Chinese markings seem to indicate that the origin of the pigeons was Rima, the first small town in Tibet, north of the McMahon (Kibithu is the last Indian village in the area).
It often happens that pigeons ‘loose’ their way, but it is strange that it has happened to so many on the same day.
Incidentally, at the same time, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the first-ever review meeting of Sino-Indian border infrastructure in Sikkim. It was attended by the Chief Ministers and representatives of five Himalayan states bordering Tibet.
Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who was present, raised serious concern over the migration of people away from border areas due to lack of basic facilities. It is not clear if he was aware of the avian ‘intrusion’ at that time.

An old posting
More than five years ago, I mentioned on this blog the use of pigeons for military purpose.
At that time, a Member of the French Parliament suggested boosting the use of military pigeons for the French Army. In a written question, Jean-Pierre Decool, a MP from the UMP (now Les Republicains) majority (from Northern France) asked for the return of the military pigeon as a weapon.
He forcefully spoke of "the usefulness of the pigeon in the event of armed conflict. In 2011, the Chinese army has decided to 'recruit' some 10,000 pigeons, in addition to the existing 200. Indeed, if during an armed conflict, a generalized failure of communication networks may occur. Consequently, the pigeon will remain one of the only communication tools capable of transporting messages," Decool said in the Parliament.
In his response, the French Minister of Defence stated: "historically, the pigeon presented a certain interest for military communications. Safe and reliable, it has often helped to get rid of the insecurity of the other lines of communication. The French Army has the last pigeon dovecote in Europe on the site of Mont-Valerian, near Paris. In addition, France has identified nearly 20,000 pigeon lovers, who could provide valuable assistance in case of strong 'weakening' of telecommunication networks."
In 2011, the Time Magazine spoke of "China's Most Secret Weapon: The Messenger Pigeon". The article asserted: "These military pigeons will be primarily called upon to conduct special military missions between troops stationed at our land borders or ocean borders," air force military expert Chen Hong told China Central Television after the announcement. According to reports at that time, the birds could be dispersed to communications bases across China's remote and mountainous southwestern region, particularly around the Himalayan foothills. The pigeons, flying at speeds of up to 75 miles (120 km) per hour, will be trained to carry loads of up to 3.5 oz. (100 g).

India should remain vigilant and learn from China the tricks of the Art of War.

In 1910, Chinese had 'walked' as far south as Menilkrai, near Walong
for what the British called a 'promenade'


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