China denies entry to Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims

No dialogue till India withdraws troops China

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. Two batches of yatris, who had valid visas, had to return from the border after they were denied entry.

Almost 40,000 pilgrims and tourists, around 80% of them from India, take part in the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra every year, which takes place between May and July. "The matter is being discussed with the Chinese side", said Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The first batch of 47 yatris had arrived in Sikkim on June 15.

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The Indian pilgrims were reportedly informed that they would be allowed to enter China once the road conditions improve.

The route was opened to Indian pilgrims in 2015. In view of the hardships faced by pilgrims through Uttarakhand route, Nathu-La was opened. Majority will use the tougher Uttarakhand route; about 350 will go via Sikkim. The Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation is the nodal authority for conducting the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Nathu La.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Kazakh capital Astana.

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