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Parliamentary panel meeting to examine key witnesses on Doka La buildup by China cancelled

New Delhi: A crucial meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs which was to examine four key witnesses on the Doka La military buildup by China was cancelled today, sources said.

The meeting, slated for 3 pm was to examine a former army chief, a former foreign secretary and a former ambassador, besides a cyber expert.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The sources said the meeting was cancelled following a written communication from Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

However, the Parliament Committee on Backward Classes held its meeting as scheduled in the afternoon, the sources said.

Lok Sabha sources said the communication was issued after the MPs in the External Affairs Committee requested the Speaker for cancellation of the Committee meeting as the union budget was to be taken up in the Lok Sabha.

Congress member Shashi Tharoor is the chairman of the committee while Rahul Gandhi is a member, besides others.

The sources said the committee was to examine former army chief General Deepak Kapur, satellite imagery expert Colonel Vinayak Bhat, former foreign secretary Shyam Saran and former ambassador G Parthasarthy.

The satellite imagery expert has written about the accumulation of Chinese build-up on the Doka La plateau including infrastructure and military build-up, besides helipads at Doka La, the sources said.

A leader termed the cancellation of the meeting as "unprecedented" and said every member of the panel is interested in preserving and protecting India's territorial integrity.

"Government should not sweep issues of national security under the carpet. Instead of facing them head-on, people deserve to know the truth on the position as it exists on the ground as also measures taken by the government to protect India's and Bhutan's territorial integrity," he said.

"Hiding the issues from the parliamentary committee cannot replace the obvious truth. That commission should enact at the first available opportunity and government should make a full dissemination of the factual position on the Doka La plateau and the Chinese occupation there," he said.

Published Date: Feb 08, 2018 22:36 PM | Updated Date: Feb 08, 2018 22:36 PM

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