After China, Pakistan and Nepal, now Bhutan has also started hassling India. Thimphu has reportedly stopped releasing channel water for irrigation along its border with India near Assam, affecting thousands of farmers in 25 villages of the region.

Since the unprecedented face-off in Ladakh’s Galwan valley on June 15, in which 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops were killed, Beijing has been using its diplomatic heft through its regional allies to put pressure on New Delhi.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime has invested heavily in the countries neighboring India, resulting in unprecedented dependence of South Asia on China.

Sources in Guwahati quoted by IANS said that farmers staged a protest against the blocking of water which flows from a man-made irrigation channel ‘Dong’ for growing paddy. The channel has been used by farmers of Bhutan and India in the region since 1953.

The withholding of water by the Bhutanese government is affecting people of 25 villages, sources said. Thimpu has said that the flow of the irrigation water has been stopped as part of Bhutan’s efforts to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China’s Wuhan city in Hubei province.

Bhutan has prohibited entry of foreign nationals. The Indian farmers, who use water from the channel, have been denied permission for being foreigners. Local sources said that the agitated farmers, however, argue that the water to the Dong can be channelised if all the international protocols to prevent COVID-19 are followed.

The Centre and the state government are yet to react on the issue. While Islamabad has been hassling New Delhi with persistent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, Nepal has been cornered the government by laying claim to the Indian territory of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas of Uttarakhand in its updated new map.

In an apparent provocative move, Nepal has stopped repair work for Gandak dam in Lal Bakeya river in Bihar on border with India by erecting barriers at several locations, raising concerns of flooding duing monsoon.

The relation between Delhi and Kathmandu turned sour after Nepal’s national assembly passed the controversial bill on its updated political administrative map which includes parts of Indian territory, escalating the border dispute.

The New Map Amendment Bill (Coat of Arms) refers to an updated map which shows strategically important Indian territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura as territories of Nepal.

The government in New Delhi called the parliament move a violation and an artificial enlargement of claims.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s party had cleared the map last month which ignited fierce criticism from India which termed it as a unilateral move on a ‘sensitive issue’.

(With inputs from IANS)