Officially confirming reports of an incursion by Peoples’ Liberation Army troops in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat said the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has sent a report to the Union Home Ministry in this regard on July 19.
“This is a matter of worry. Our border has been peaceful. We have asked the Centre to increase vigilance along the 350-km border, which Uttaranchal shares with China. The ITBP even said the word ‘China’ was found written on a rock in Man Pass,” said Rawat.
This apart, a Chinese helicopter was also reported to have hovered over the Indian airspace for five minutes before disappearing.
While this was so, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that the government will have to first determine whether it was an intrusion or not. This will be possible only after “the government seeks a report on it,” he said.
Rawat said that it was fortunate that the Chinese troops did not destroy a canal, which was quite important in that area.
It may be recalled that in April, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said there have been no instances of incursions by Chinese troops into the Indian territory.
An incursion by the Chinese troops crossing into Arunachal Pradesh in June took place at a time when Beijing was opposing India’s membership in the exclusive Nuclear Suppliers Group.