CM to unfurl Tricolour in village bordering China: Uttarakhand BJP
To give a stern message to Beijing in view of the frequent incursions by the Chinese army on the Indo-Tibetan border touching Uttarakhand, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will unfurl the national flag at a border village on the Independence Day, the ruling BJP has said.
“The chief minister will unfurl the national flag at Gamsali, a frontier village on the Indo-Tibetan border touching the mountain state,” said Mahendra Bhatt, the BJP legislator from Badrinath. “It will be an historic occasion because he (Rawat) will be the first chief minister who will unfurl the national flag in a border village,” he added.
State BJP president Ajay Bhatt said the chief minister’s decision to unfurl the tricolour in the border village will not only boost the morale of the army but also that of the general public. “It will also give a clear message at the national and international level that we are capable of defending our borders,” he said, adding that the country had sent that message in no uncertain terms during the last year’s long-drawn Doklam standoff between India and China under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The chief minister confirmed in an official communique on Wednesday that he would unfurl the national flag at Gamsali on the Independence Day. The village is close to Barahoti, a “disputed area” on the Line of Actual Control, which has witnessed frequent air and ground violations by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna has on record stated that the Chinese troops had intruded into Barahoti 35 times during his two-year tenure, which ended in 2014.
In a recent incident, the Chinese army intruded into Tanjun La, three km from Barahoti in Chamoli district, at least four times in eight days starting July 3. According to the eyewitnesses, PLA soldiers entered 200 metres inside the Indian territory and gestured the local shepherds to go away from the area. Officials, however, refused to comment on the issue.
The incident can’t be brushed aside as an isolated incident as such incursions frequently happen in the Barahoti area. In June last year, for instance, a suspected Chinese helicopter violated Indian airspace by hovering over Uttarakhand’s Chamoli area close to Sino-Indian border. Superintendent of Police, Chamoli, Tripti Bhatt had told HT that the helicopter entered the Indian airspace from Tibetan side and hovered over Barahoti for about four minutes before it flew back.
In a similar incident in 2016, the Chinese troops reportedly infiltrated into Barahoti. Then chief minister Harish Rawat had dubbed the intrusion as “something quite worrisome”. As per reports, the incident came to notice when the district magistrate of Chamoli and other officials from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police were in Barahoti for a survey.
Badrinath MLA Bhatt dubbed the chief minister’s proposed plan to unfurl the national flag at Gamsali as “unprecedented”. “No chief minister, not even during undivided Uttar Pradesh ever visited an area bordering China to unfurl the national flag,” he said.
According to the MLA, Union home minister Rajnath Sigh did visit Matli on the India-China border in December last year. “He, however, visited the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp and had an interaction with its officials and soldiers,” Bhatt said.
According to him, the chief minister would unfurl the national flag at a public function. “It is a very important development because in border areas the civilians are the second line of defence after the army,” the MLA said.