More than 100 Chinese troops transgressed into Indian territory on August 30 through the border point at Barahoti ridge in Uttarakhand, the Economic Times reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified government and security officials.
They entered more than 5 kilometres into the Indian territory by crossing the Tun Jun La in the area, the report said. The government is yet to give an official statement on the matter.
The Chinese soldiers damaged some infrastructure in the area, including a bridge, and left before patrol teams of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police could reach the spot, the report said.
The Chinese troops also brought 55 horses along with them and stayed in the area for around three hours during the reported incursion.
The Barahoti ridge lies north of the Nanda Devi National Park in Uttarakhand and is connected to the Joshimath district. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police monitors the nearly 350-kilometres long border between India and China in Uttarakhand, according to the Economic Times.
Local residents informed the authorities about the reported transgression, following which the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Police Force sent their patrol teams to the area, according to the report.
The incident has raised security concerns since Barahoti is a demilitarised zone.
“Earlier also several attempts were made by PLA [China’s People’s Liberation Army] to infiltrate the Barahoti area,” an unidentified government official told the Economic Times.
Meanwhile, another home ministry official told the newspaper that there were differences between the Indian and Chinese perception of the Line of Actual Control in the area, which has led to frequent incursions.
The two countries do not share a defined and demarcated border. Instead, there is the Line of Actual Control, which stretches thousands of kilometres from Ladakh all the way to Arunachal Pradesh.
The report came even as the troops of the two countries have agreed to disengage from several friction points in the eastern Ladakh region. India and China have been locked in a standoff in the region since May 2020. Chinese troops had clashed with the Indian Army at several points along the Line of Actual Control that month.
Tensions between the two countries escalated after the violent face-off in Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. The two countries have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks since then to resolve the tensions.