Three days before National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing, soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) transgressed into Indian territory in Uttarakhand’s Barahoti on 25 July.
As per reports about 10-12 Chinese soldiers entered 800 meters into the Indian territory in Barahoti of Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district around 9 am. Barahoti is the same place where in July last year, two PLA soldiers had entered 200 metres into the Indian territory, on which the the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had said that the border has not been demarcated there and the two sides differ on perception about it.
India and China have been involved in a military standoff at Sikkim’s Doka La sector for over a month now. China has accused India of trespassing into its territory at Doka La and stopping the construction of a road. India and Bhutan, on the other hand, say that the road lies in the latter’s territory. Uttarakhand shares a 350-kilometer long border with China and similar attempts at Chinese incursions have been reported in the past as well. 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. However, no solution could emerge in the meeting. The Sikkim border row is the longest standoff between the two armies since 1962.
The last one, which carried on for 21 days, occurred at Daulat Beg Oldie in the Ladakh division of Jammu and Kashmir in 2013 when Chinese troops entered 30 kilometers into Indian territory till the Depsang Plains and claimed it to be a part of its Xinjiang province. They were, however, pushed back.