Amid Sikkim stand-off, Chinese troops transgress into Barahoti in Uttarakhand

In the midst of the stand-off in Doklam in Sikkim in the eastern sector, the Chinese troops intruded into India in Uttarakhand last week and tried to force the shepherds to vacate the grazing land there. Incidentally, the Chinese had intruded into this area previous year too in July and carried out an aerial sortie by helicopter.

It is a demilitarised zone where the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and their chines counterparts do not take their weapons. "Transgressions do occur due to differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC)".

The event came on a day when Home Ministry sources said some 50 Chinese soldiers entered into Uttarakhand's Barahoti last week and spent about two hours before going back.

Barahoti, an 80 sq km sloping pasture about 140 km from Uttarakhand capital Dehradun, is one of three border posts in what is known as the "middle sector", comprising Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

In a conversation with The Hindu, Long Xingchun, Director of Centre of India Studies, China West Normal University, advocated that Bhutan could become a key player in ending the face-off in Doklam, as part of a two-step formula of finding a solution.

This comes just three days before National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing. In July a year ago, two PLA soldiers had reportedly crossed into the same area.

In 1958, India and China listed Barahoti as a disputed area where neither side would send troops.

The opinion peace further reads that the Western media reports mainly cited India's rhetoric and what happened from the Indian media's point of view, depicting a mild India which called for a troop withdrawal and bilateral negotiations. In the 1962 war, the PLA did not enter the middle sector. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

It quoted Macau-based Antony Wong Dong as saying: "India is strategically located at the heart of China's energy lifeline and the Belt and Road Initiative, and offending India will only push it into the rival camp, which [Beijing believes] is scheming to contain China by blocking the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean".