Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Wednesday confirmed an incursion by Chinese troops into Indian territory. News agency ANI quoted Rawat as saying that the infiltration took place in Chamoli district of the state.
Rawat, however, said that it was a good thing that the troops did not touch an important canal in the area. “I am sure central government will take required cognizance of the issue,” he told ANI.
The state of Uttarakhand shares a 350 kilometer long boundary with China and there have been similar attempts on several occasions in the past. There have been reports in past when Chinese troops entered the area and scribbled the word ‘China’ on rocks near Mana Pass in Chamoli.
Over the past few years, Chinese troops have been spotted in the area and even air violations have taken place in this area, according to sources.
Chinese side had sent in a delegation on April 19, 1958 for negotiations with their Indian counterparts and both sides had agreed not to send troops into the area but had avoided a discussion on final settlement of the Barahoti ground.
The sources said that ever since this agreement, ITBP, which mans the 3,488-km Sino-Indian border from Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast, had never entered the area with arms.
However, shepherds from both sides were allowed to enter the ground.
The Chinese troops have since the reported incursion returned even as apprehensions persisted that they may be taking undue advantage of the agreement of 1958 by pushing in their soldiers into the area which they recognise as ‘Wu-Je’.
While Harish Rawat termed the development as “something to worry about” hoping that Centre will pay heed to his request for increased vigil, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said ITBP had been asked to look into the matter.
Earlier in June, China had rejected allegation of incursion by its troops in Arunachal Pradesh. It had said that the Sino-India border was not yet been demarcated and the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army were conducting “normal patrols” on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control.
While both sides in recent years managed to reduce tensions between the troops patrolling the disputed areas with various mechanisms, China has not responded positively to India’s proposal to demarcate the 3,488 km of the LAC to avoid border tensions. (With PTI inputs)