A threat by tribal villagers of the Pin valley, anguished by the lack of development in their area, to seek help from China has prompted the Himachal Pradesh government to order a high-level probe into the development, which has also raised the hackles of the central government.
The panchayats of Sagnam and Kungari villages, situated close to the China border, have declared that they will be forced to seek help from the neighbouring country for their development in the wake of their alleged neglect by the state government.
Alarmed over the threat of the villagers, the government on Saturday asked the police to ascertain the facts and identify the persons who instigated the villagers to even raise pro-China slogans.
“We have ordered a probe to ascertain the facts and the local police have been asked to submit a detailed report on the protest by villagers,” said inspector general of police (central zone) PL Thakur. The home department has also asked the civil administration in Lahaul and Spiti to look into the matter.
The residents of 12 villages in this tribal valley, known for its beautiful environs, have been upset with the successive governments over the slow pace of development and the neglect they have been facing for the past three years.
The villagers have been perturbed, particularly over the snapping of the road connectivity in the area for the past one year.
Due to the rapidly melting glaciers, the rivulets in Pin valley had swelled and washed away the main bridge at Kiri nullah.
The government had installed a footbridge for the villagers, but that too got washed away.
Consequently, the villagers faced hardship in transporting daily commodities, besides the main cash crop of the area, peas.
Due to lack of transportation, peas worth lakhs of rupees perished in various villages, including Tashi Yumo, Kungari, Sagnam, Yumi, Mudh and Sangti.