NEW DELHI: India and China are considering a proposal to open the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to allow local people on both sides to visit two religious places, one in Arunachal Pradesh and the other on the Chinese side.
“A proposal is under the consideration of both countries to open up LAC for the people living near both sides of the LAC to visit two important religious places in the Yangtse area,” a senior Indian Army officer said.
A waterfall named Tso Chu 500 metres from the LAC in Arunachal is believed to offer health and spiritual benefits, and 200 metres across the LAC are three caves believed to be holy by people living on both sides.
People of the Monpa ethnic group live on both sides of LAC in the area and the two places hold importance for them, said the officer, who did not wish to be named.
The proposal is to open the LAC at a designated place for a fixed number of days to allow people in batches, which could be of 30 people or more, to cross to each other’s side.
The Yangtse area is located 25-30 km east of Bum La pass in East Kameng District of western Arunachal Pradesh, and a meeting of Indian and Chinese border personnel took place there on October 1, China’s national day.
There are five designated points on the LAC where meetings of the border personnel take place. The area around Yangtse is one of the identified areas disputed by the two countries.
The Line of Actual Control between India and China is not demarcated and both sides have different perceptions of the border.