Days after Chinese troops transgressed into Barahoti in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Tuesday said it is a “disputed area” and that there was no clear demarcation of the area in Chamoli district.
“I don’t have an exact official information about the transgression. There is no demarcation of which part belongs to India and which part belongs to China as it (Barahoti) is a disputed (area),” Rawat, who was in Nagpur to visit the RSS headquarters, told reporters. The transgression took place on the morning of July 25 when a group of shepherds was asked to vacate the land by troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
“There is one area in Barahoti where carrying of weapons is prohibited for Indian as well as Chinese soldiers. There are instances of Indian soldiers going into their territory and Chinese soldiers coming into our territory,” the chief minister said.
Responding to a query on the ongoing stand-off between India and China in the Doklam plateau area of Bhutan, near the tri-junction between the three countries, Rawat said China should abstain from using “provocative language”. “Our Army is very strong and the chief of the Army staff has already said that our troops are capable of and efficient to face any challenge,” he said.
Barahoti, an 80 sq km sloping pasture about 140 km from the Uttarakhand capital Dehradun, is one of the three border posts in what is known the ‘middle sector’, comprising Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It is a demilitarised zone where Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans are not allowed to carry weapons.
Asked what was the purpose of his visit to the RSS headquarters and if he will meet Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, Rawat said he is an RSS swaysmsevak and “Nagpur is our inspiration centre”. “We keep coming here from time to time,” he added.
He said he interacted with members of the Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) and invited them to attend a investors’ meet scheduled to be held in Dehradun in December.