Chinese Army Transgresses LAC in U’khand
Army calls incident a routine affair; New Delhi wary of Beijing’s efforts to woo Bhutanese politicians ahead of parliamentary polls
New Delhi: Chinese soldiers transgressed up to a kilometre inside Uttarakhand’s Barahoti area, which is located along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The incident took place a few days before National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s visit to Beijing on July 27-28 for a BRICS meet. However, top army sources said, “Media report on Chinese intrusion is incorrect. Transgressions do occur which are due to differing perceptions of LAC. Representative videos being shown on media and TV channels are incorrect and lead to wrong perceptions.”
On the other hand, government sources added that incidents of similar nature have happened in the past but are normally sorted out locally and should not be given undue importance.
However, people familiar with the terrain had something else to say.
They said the incident took place on the morning of July 25. About 10 Chinese soldiersequalling a ‘section’ in military parlance- entered up to one km inside Barahoti. Indian herdsmen were present in the area, grazing their cattle when the Chinese arrived. The Chinese soldiers asked them to leave the area.
“It was a section of Chinese soldiers that came. Such inci- dents of them coming into Barahoti is a routine affair. There are no confrontations during these incidents. They leave the area and return to their side of the LAC after a while,” explained an official.
The incident has taken place amid a standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam plateau. But one cannot conclusively state that the incident is a retaliation to the standoff.
Furthermore, this is not the first time that a transgression by Chinese soldiers has taken place in Barahoti. The first known transgression took place in June 1954 and thereafter there have been hundreds more. As recently as June 3 this year, two PLA helicopters hovered over the Barahoti area and returned after a couple of minutes. In July last year there were transgressions by PLA soldiers and airspace violations by Chinese helicopters in the area.
Barahoti is located in the Middle Sector of the 3440 km long LAC.
China keeps asserting itself here. Back in 1958, India and China termed Barahoti as a disputed territory, where neither side would send their troops. In the 1962 war, China only focussed its operations in the western and eastern sectors.
Now, the ITBP patrol the area without arms and not wearing their uniforms.