Amid Dokalam standoff, Chinese incursion in Uttarakhand

On July 19, government officials found People's Liberation Army troops on the Barahotio pasture ground and asked them to move back. There have been several reports threatening escalation of troop movement in various sectors if India does not withdraw from Doklam. In this area the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans are not allowed to use weapons as it is a demilitarized section. A serving colonel told TOI, "Incidentally, even though Indian Army constantly patrols the borders with China and has designated troops there, the Chinese army doesn't really stay on the LAC because they know that India will never invade them".

After the war, ITBP jawans would patrol the area with weapons in a non-combative manner - with the barrel of the gun pointing down.

Sources said that at least 10 Chinese soldiers entered Uttarakhand's Barahoti in Chamoli district on July 25 at about 9 am and came into Indian territory to a distance of around 800m to 1 km. "Also China has border issues with all its neighbours and such invasions or transgressions occur because of the perception that they have about the extent of their territory". It falls in the middle sector of the Sino-Indian border, comprising Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval's departure from Beijing, after a crucial meeting with China's state councilor Yang Jiechi, has triggered an energetic debate on finding a formula for defusing the crisis in the remote Doklam plateau, where Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a lengthy stand-off. In 1958, India and China listed Barahoti as a disputed area where neither side would send their troops. In the 1962 war, PLA did not enter the "middle sector" including parts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and were actively focused in the western (Ladakh) and eastern (Arunachal Pradesh) sectors. Playing down the incident, a government source in the Capital said: "Media is carrying reports about an intrusion in Barahoti". Professor Long underscored that once Indian troops were out of the line of sight, it would be much easier for China to exercise "flexibility". India and Bhutan, on the other hand, say that the road lies in the latter's territory.


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