Chinese again barge into Indian territory, threaten shepherds

Amid Dokalam standoff, Chinese incursion in Uttarakhand

The LAC is the de-facto border that separates India and China in several sectors, from Ladakh in eastern J&K to Arunachal Pradesh.

Around 15-20 personnel of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) came 800 metres inside Indian territory in Chamoli district on the morning of July 25, officials said.

The crisis erupted after Indian and Bhutanese troops foiled an attempt by the Chinese Army to encroach on a disputed enclave. "The soldiers stayed there for a while and went back", said a highly-placed source in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

While the Indian Army has refused to comment on the latest incident, an official said that transgressions occur due to different perceptions of the boundary. Sources said that a team of Chinese troops entered one kilometer into India's territory, where they threatened some local shepherds who were going on with their daily routine of looking after their livestock.

Even as the Doklam standoff on the Sikkim border continues, Chinese troops are reported to have transgressed up to one kilometre into Indian territory in the Barahoti area of Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, threatening threatened shepherds grazing cattle.

After reports emerged that the Chinese troops had entered Uttarakhand on July 25th, the Uttarakhand government has said that it has not received any official information as yet.

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Muslim leaders alleged Israel was trying to expand its control at the site under the guise of security, a claim Israel has denied. It has always been a flashpoint of anti-Israeli protests at times of turmoil in the Palestinian territories.

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval reportedly discussed the ongoing face-off with the Chinese leadership during his visit to Beijing last week. It falls in the middle sector of the Sino-Indian border, comprising Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. China has set withdrawal of troops by India as the precondition for any meaningful dialogue on the issue.

The area where incursions have been reported in the past is close to a revered pond called Parvati Kund, where there is said to be a small Kali and Shiva temple.

After the war, ITBP jawans would patrol the area with weapons in a non-combative manner - with the barrel of the gun facing down. China has overwhelming dominance over India because the country's GDP is five times that of India and its military expenditure is triple.

There is no official word either from the Indian government or the Chinese administration on any of these developments.

India "arouses sympathy" because it is "in a weaker position compared with China", say the Global Times op-ed piece.

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