Chinese soldiers transgressed into Uttarakhand's Barahoti last week on 25 July at about 9 am.
The soldiers came up to 800m to 1 km into Indian territory, sources have reported.
This comes after heightened tensions between India and China resulting from the Doklam standoff. Barahoti is a demilitarised area.
Barahoti is a vulnerable area for India and there are unarmed soldiers stationed there without any equipment, said strategic affairs analyst Bramha Chellaney to CNN-News18.
Uttarakhand shouldn’t be looked at as being remote... China could capture a lot of territory in Uttarakhand if they wanted to and march all the way to Delhi. The entry has opened up a potential corridor to the capital.
Chellaney said that one could intrude 10-20 meters by accident, but coming up to almost a kilometer and going back after almost two hours shows intent.
It’s a signal to the Indian side. China will keep pressurising Indian forces. In the past as well, they have come into the country and demolished Indian structures, including signposts.
On whether the transgression is linked to Doklam or not, Chellaney was of the view that China could be meddling elsewhere to relieve the pressure off of Doklam, but one cannot conclusively state that this transgression was a retaliation to Doklam.
Since China staked claim to Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, they have repeatedly tried to enter into India, and that the diplomacy the country uses is merely to exert external pressure that’s already being applied on ground by its troops, said Chellaney.
Located in Uttarakhand’s border with China, Barahoti is 397-kms from Dehradun. A 3-km trek to Barahoti ridge makes the area of Tibet (under China) visible, as Hindustan Times wrote.
A pond called Parvati Kund is a 700-metre descend from the ridge, near which is a small Kali and Shiva temple, around which Chinese troops are often visible. The Chinese side has repeatedly pulled down the shrines which the Indian side has rebuilt each time.
Indian villagers worship the Parvati Kund and Indian authorities need to give one permission to go to the pond.
Tanjula area, which is around 2 km from Barahoti, is where the Indian troops patrol till. The India-China line of control, called the McMahon line passes through Barahoti. China doesn’t follows the line and troops tend to come and stake claim to Indian soil as sources reported.
Between 2007-2012, 37 incursion attempts were made by China into India, as then Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna told an internal security meeting in 2013.
In 2015, Chinese soldiers signalled and Indian team of Indian officials on a routine recce to go back in Barahoti area, as a Chamoli district administration said.
Past Instances of Border Crossing
Two helicopters of the People's Liberation Army of China hovered over Chamoli district on 3 June, triggering concern in India's security establishment about the PLA's fourth such incursion into Indian airspace since March this year.
In June 2013, 21 Chinese troops entered Barahoti in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The state government had said that it had notified the central government about the intrusion, which happened again on 13 June, 2014. Troops again crossed into the area on 19 July, 2016.
In 2009, incursion reports came from Chamoli’s Rimkhim and Barahoti as then Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had asked then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for more troops to be deployed along the Tibet border.
(With inputs from ANI)
(We all love to express ourselves, but how often do we do it in our mother tongue? Here's your chance! This Independence Day, khul ke bol with BOL – Love your Bhasha. Sing, write, perform, spew poetry – whatever you like – in your mother tongue. Send us your BOL email@example.com or WhatsApp it to 9910181818.)
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)