NEW DELHI: China on Tuesday blocked the entry of Indian pilgrims traveling to Kailash-Mansarovar in Tibet from the Nathu La pass, after accusing Indian army for crossing the Sikkim border into Chinese territory and demanding their immediate withdrawal. To prevent further escalation between the two army, Indian army has dispatched the reinforcement at the area and the Army chief General Bipin Rawat may also visit the area to take stock of the situation. However, neither the ministry of defence nor Indian army made any comment on the developments at the Indo-China border.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said on Tuesday that two batches of a total of about 100 pilgrims could not cross the border to visit Mount Kailash in Tibet and returned to Sikkim capital Gangtok. A third batch was not granted visas and did not leave Delhi. About 400 pilgrims travel in batches every year to Kailash-Mansarovar by the Nathu La route and are received across the border by the Chinese.
Both Indian and Chinese PLA have been involved in the skirmish for nearly a fortnight after Chinese army alleged Indian army destroyed an old makeshift bunker that eventually led to a possible stand-off and Indian soldiers had to form a human wall along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to block them from progressing further into Indian territory.
In a statement, the Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said recently China had begun the construction of a road in DongLang region, but was stopped by Indian troops crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
"The China-India boundary in Sikkim has delineated by historical treaty. After the independence of India, the Indian government has repeatedly confirmed it in writing acknowledging that both sides have no objection to Sikkim border," the statement said.
Chinese foreign minister reported to have lodged solemn representations in Beijing and New Delhi to elaborate on position.
Similar incursions happened in 2013 April, when the Chinese troops had entered in the same DBO sector, which is 19 kilometers inside in the Indian territory and set up their tents for three weeks in Depsang valley. The stand-off was resolved after several rounds of hectic parleys between the top officials of the two countries.
According to Indian army, due to difference of perception on the 4,000 km long Line of Actual Control between the two nations, such incidents of incursions and stand offs keep happening between the two army, which are generally resolved by the banner drill or calling local commander level talk. Both sides have held nearly 20 rounds of border talks since the early 1990s, with little progress.