Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Thursday denied the reports of migration of rural folks from villages alongside China border in the state as was claimed by HP Police on 25 July and said there was no migration of people in these areas.

Talking to media during his visit to Dharamshala in Kangra district, Thakur said people in border areas alongside China were highly patriotic and were ready to fight, and even prepared to make supreme sacrifice if the need arises.

“A panel of five battalion commandants (Superintendent of Police) visited border villages in Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti districts after the aggression by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Galvan valley.

The local population do point out issues related to development and connectivity in these areas and the state government is making efforts to resolve these at the earliest,” he said, adding they had, on record, stated that they were not going anywhere.

He further stated that the development of border areas was on the top priority of the state government and the government was extending full cooperation to the local population.

“Many development projects are being carried out in these areas but these can’t be discussed in the public domain as it is a sensitivity issue.

Further, the Rohtang Tunnel which will provide round the year connectivity to Lahaul Spiti and border areas is nearing completion and it is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September this year,” he said.

It is worthwhile to mention here that in a press conference on 25 July, Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu had cited the police panel’s report on migration from border areas which might prove a threat to national security.

Kundu had stated that the local population was forced to migrate from areas bordering China due to poor infrastructure, connectivity and lack of economic activities.

The police panel had recommended strengthening of road and communication infrastructure, besides starting of economic activities as tribal tourism and marketing of local products.

Thakur, during the media interaction, also ruled out the possibility of opening of temples till 31 August and said the major reason for the decision was the ongoing monsoon wherein viral and bacterial infections threat looms large.

“At one point in time, we were almost ready to open the temples and religious shrines but the rise in COVID-19 cases has forced the state government to revise the decision. Hence, the temples will not be opened at least till 31 August owing to the rainy season,” he added.