New chapters in Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir boundary dispute

MANALI: The ongoing dispute for boundary between Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir at Sarchu and Shinkula has taken a new turn after someone destroyed a boundary pillar at Sarchu.
A large number of people from Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal have been operating small shops at Sarchu and near Shinkula for many years.
The traders here claim that people of Ladakh have now intruded deep into Himachal’s boundary.
An old concrete pillar at Sarchu, which was dividing the boundary of Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal with Kargil district of Ladakh has been damaged and has disappeared from its place. People of both states blame each other for establishing their shops and tents 5 to 10km inside each other’s territory.
People of Darcha panchayat complained Himachal revenue minister Kaul Singh Thakur during his recent visit to Lahaul valley that the government should take serious steps to stop people of Ladakh from claiming land inside their panchayat. Thakur assured them that the state government will write to the Central government to solve the dispute.
In another development, a person from Kargil district has claimed that the Kargil administration has leased out a piece of land to him at Palamo, a village that is in Himachal.
A person hailing from Kargil district who has his shop near Palamo village of Darcha panchayat in Lahaul has written a letter to Himachal Pradesh chief minister, Lahaul-Spiti MLA and other officials that he is not operating his business illegally and that the Kargil administration has allotted him this land on lease. The claims in this letter have sparked a fresh controversy.
MLA Ravi Thakur said that he has received a letter where a person has claimed that Kargil has allotted him land on lease in Palamo.

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