Dehradun : The Chinese troops intruded into Uttarakhand last week and came face to face with an Indian inspection team. After engaging eyeball to eyeball for about an hour, both sides retreated.

The intrusion was spotted on July 19 in Badahoti in Chamoli district. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat flagged the incursion and reported the matter to the Union Home Ministry.

Uttarakhand shares a 350-km-long boundary with China and incursions have been reported in the past, too. Only last year some boys grazing cattle were beaten up by the Chinese army and asked to retreat. Sources said the local administration keeps sending inspection teams to Badahoti in Chamoli district, where there is a grazing ground of about  80 square km claimed by both India and China, said officials.

 This is very tough terrain and is 100 km from Joshimath; it can only be reached on foot. A team of 19 government officials, led by Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Yogendra Singh had on July 19 left for the “summer inspection”. The team retreated to Rimkhim and informed the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) teams posted there. They then informed the district magistrate who passed the information to the chief minister’s office. In the past, Chinese troops have been known to cross over and write ‘China’ on rocks in the Chamoli district. This area has also seen aerial transgressions and infiltration by foot patrols in 2013 and 2014. Responding to the latest incursion, Minister of state for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said: “We will seek a report. We need to see how deep into our territory they came.”

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