Days before Doval's Beijing visit Chinese troops transgress in Uttarkhand

Illustration by Tanmoy Chakraborty

The latest incident of transgression comes at a time when the Sikkim sector of the LAC is witnessing a face-off between troops from India and China.

The reported incursions took place in the Indian state of Uttarakhand's Barahoti with the major one occurring on 25 July. Incidentally, the Chinese had intruded into this area a year ago too in July and carried out an aerial sortie by helicopter. "The soldiers stayed there for a while and went back", said a highly-placed source in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

The transgressions on the LAC take place due to difference in perception about the boundary and the two countries in 2013 inked a Border Defence Co-operation Agreement (BDCA) as a confidence-building measure.

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Chinese state media has again urged and warned India to end the almost two-month long stand-off with Beijing in the Doklam region unconditionally to avoid being placed in a position of disadvantage. The Chinese military transgressed up to 800 meter to 1 kilometer into the Indian Territory.

There has been a wave of incursions since July 24 by the Chinese army into Indian territory in the Barahoti area of Chamoli, Uttarakhand, sources have told CNN-News18.

There was hope of a breakthrough in the border row last week ahead of Doval's meeting with Xi on the sidelines of BRICS summit in Beijing. China has set withdrawal of troops by India as the precondition for any meaningful dialogue on the issue. India claims some of the areas are part of Ladakh, while China maintains they are part of its Xinjiang region. "In the Barahoti area, such transgressions are a regular affair and happen twice or thrice a year in June-July", they added. The ITBP jawans would guard the area with weapons in a non-militant manner, that is, with the barrel of the gun facing down. In the 1962 war, the PLA did not enter the middle sector. Professor Long underscored that once Indian troops were out of the line of sight, it would be much easier for China to exercise "flexibility". Officials also said the ITBP patrols the Barahoti region in civil dress where Indian shepherds from border villages and people from Tibet graze their animals. At an event to mark the 90th anniversary of China's army in New Delhi, in attendance were representatives from India besides those from Bhutan, Pakistan and other countries.

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