External Affairs

Stoppage of Kaliash Manasrovar Yatra Being Discussed With China, says India

While Chinese authorities have claimed that landslides were the reason for stopping pilgrims from going through the Nathu-La pass, there is a perception that Beijing was also trying to give a signal to New Delhi in background of recent strain in relations.

Nathu La pass in Sikkim. Credit: PTI

Nathu La pass in Sikkim. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: India has taken up with the China the stopping of movement of pilgrims on the Kailash Mansarovar yatra, after Chinese border personnel refused to open gates at Nathu-La for over a week.

A batch of 50 pilgrims have returned from Sikkim after waiting for over a week for China to open the border gates. Chinese authorities have reportedly claimed that the Nathu-La route has been hampered due to major landslides.

“Yes, there are some difficulties being experienced in movement of KMY Yatris via Nathu La. Matter is being discussed with Chinese side,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay.

The Nathu-la route is in addition to the long-stand route through Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand. The Sikkim route was opened in 2015 after the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While Chinese authorities have claimed that landslides were the reason for stopping pilgrims from going through Nathu-La, there is a perception that Beijing was also trying to give a signal to New Delhi in background of recent strain in relations.

While India has been unhappy with China over its ‘cover’ to Pakistan on international fora, Beijing has been annoyed at New Delhi’s opposition to its flagship ‘Belt and Road initiative’, as well as, statements on South China sea.