Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Wednesday confirmed an incursion of Chinese troops in Chamoli district of the state. He, however, said that it was a good thing that the troops did not touch an important canal in the area.
The incursion was noticed on July 19 when a team led by Chamoli District Magistrate and officials from Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) went for a survey of Barahoti ground.
Uttarakhand shares a 350-km long boundary with China and similar incursion attempts by the Chinese have been reported in the past. Sources said Chinese troops have been spotted in the area and even air violations have taken place.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that appropriate action would be initiated after going through a detailed report in this regard.
“The ITBP personnel are monitoring the border area. We need to assess as to till which area has the intrusion taken place. We will seek a detailed report and then see what is to be done,” he said.
Former Union Home Secretary and BJP MP R.K. Singh said the lack of clarity on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was the root cause of the problem. “It was agreed with China that we will set up a group to clarify the LAC. And we have been asking those groups to complete their exercise, but the Chinese have not been cooperating,” Singh told ANI.
The last reported Chinese incursion in the state was when the word 'China' was inscribed on rocks near Mana Pass in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
China had sent a delegation on April 19, 1958 for negotiations with India and both sides had agreed not to send troops into the Barahoti ground but had avoided a discussion on final settlement of the Barahoti ground.
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 the Northeast, had never entered the area with arms.
(With inputs from agencies)