"Though we can't call it routine it is not so unusual movement either", said a senior ITBP official on the condition of anonymity.
Confirming the intrusion by Chinese troops, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat dubbed it as a sensitive and a worrisome development. It may be recalled that the Barahoti area has been regularly targeted by Chinese troops and several incursions have been reported in the past.
India and China are locked in a standoff at the Doklam plateau for nearly two months now. The Chinese troops had reportedly entered 30 km into the Indian side claiming it to be a part of its Xinjiang province. It is also one of three border posts in what is known the "middle sector", comprising Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Since mid-June, a military standoff continues between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam - a disputed tri-junction where the borders of India (Sikkim), China and Bhutan converge. It is a demilitarised zone where Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans do not carry their weapons in accordance with a bilateral pact in 2000. "Also China has border issues with all its neighbours and such invasions or transgressions occur because of the perception that they have about the extent of their territory".More news: Gujarat floods: 25000 people evacuated as heavy rain lash state
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China has said Indian troops should "unconditionally" withdraw to the Indian side before talks can start on the dispute. The Chinese troops focussed their attention on the Western (Ladakh) and Eastern (Arunachal Pradesh) sectors. The officials informed the ITBP, who then sent across a patrol to check the area. However, the maps for the other two sectors are yet to be exchanged, they said. Chinese soldiers came 800 m - 1 km inside of Indian territory and asked local shepherds to leave, sources said.
There was hope of a breakthrough in the border row last week ahead of Doval's meeting with Xi on the sidelines of BRICS summit in Beijing.
In a conversation with The Hindu, Long Xingchun, Director of Centre of India Studies, China West Normal University, advocated that Bhutan could become a key player in ending the face-off in Doklam, as part of a two-step formula of finding a solution.