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Amid Sikkim stand-off, Chinese troops enter into Indian territory, Barahoti

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Chinese troops entered one kilometer into Indian territory and threatened shepherds grazing cattle in the Barahoti area of Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, Indian officials said on Monday, July 31.

The transgression took place on the morning of July 25 when a group of shepherds was asked to vacate the land by troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the officials were quoted by the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

The incident comes in the backdrop of a prolonged standoff between Chinese and Indian troops at Doklam near Sikkim, the PTI pointed out.

Barahoti, an 80 sq km sloping pasture about 140 km from the Uttarakhand capital Dehradun, is one of three border posts in what is known the 'middle sector', comprising Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It is a demilitarized zone where Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans are not allowed to take their weapons, officials said.

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According to the PTI:

"In 1958, India and China listed Barahoti as a disputed area where neither side would send their troops. In the 1962 war, the PLA did not enter the middle sector and focused on the western (Ladakh) and eastern (Arunachal Pradesh) sectors. After the war, ITBP jawans would patrol the area with weapons in a non-combative manner -- with the barrel of the gun facing down. During negotiations on resolving the border dispute, the Indian side unilaterally agreed in June 2000 that ITBP jawans would not carry arms in three posts, Barahoti and Kauril and Shipki in Himachal Pradesh. ITBP men go patrolling in civil dress and the Barahoti pasture sees Indian shepherds from border villages tending their sheep and people from Tibet bringing their yaks for grazing."

Doval, Yang fail to discuss Sikkim stand-off

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On July 27, Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi discussed "major problems" in bilateral ties but did not discuss the military standoff erupted in the Sikkim sector on June 16.

Doval arrived in Beijing on July 26 to take part in the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) NSAs meeting being hosted by Yang, who, like Doval, is the Special Representative for India-China boundary talks.

His visit has raised expectations about the likelihood of India and China finding a way-out of the over the month-long standoff.

The military standoff began on June 16 when, according to Indian media, Chinese troops attempted to lay a road in the Doklam area. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognizes as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

India and China share a 220-km-long border in Sikkim section.

India calls on BRICS to show leadership on regional issues

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Meanwhile, Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday (July 27) called on BRICS countries to show leadership on issues of regional and global importance, including countering terrorism.

Speaking at the meeting of NSAs from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Doval said, "We should hold a BRICS forum to discuss security issues that impact global peace and stability."

In his brief opening remarks at the meeting hosted by his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, Doval said BRICS countries also should take leadership role on strategic issues of regional and global importance specially in the areas where they have "consensus".

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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