The Himachal Pradesh Police Saturday said they are investigating how a 34-year-old Chinese national managed to reach village Sumdo, near the India-China border in the state’s Kinnaur district, without obtaining a Protected Area Permit (PAP).

Identified as Yudong Guo, 34, the Chinese national was accompanied by a woman from Maharashtra and had reached Sumdo, a protected area, via Dubling. He was carrying documents showing that he was married to the Indian woman, police said. While PAP is mandatory for foreigners traveling beyond Dublin, the Indian nationals need the inner line permit (ILP).

The court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Reckong Peo in Kinnaur remanded Yudong in police custody till June 10.

It is still being ascertained whether Yudong reached Sumdo by mistake or if there was any other purpose. Superintendent of Police, Kinnaur, Shrishti Pandey refused to divulge the details of the case citing saying that the matter is sensitive and related to the national security. “The foreign national was not carrying PAP when he was apprehended. It is mandatory for a foreign national. The PAP is different from ILP, which is issued to the Indian nationals,” the SP said.

Protected areas

Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the ‘inner line’ — as defined in the said order — and the international border have been declared as protected areas. Such areas are located in the states including Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, whole of Manipur, whole of Mizoram, whole of Nagaland, certain parts of Rajasthan and whole of Sikkim. In Himachal Pradesh, certain areas in districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul & Spiti, close to the international border, were declared protected. They include village Khab in Kinnaur, and Samdo, Dhankar, Dubling, Tabo, Gompa, Kaza and Morang in Lahaul & Spiti.

Festive offer


Primarily, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is the principal authority to issue the PAPs in the cases of foreign nationals. The PAP is issued after the MHA received the request from the foreign national via the embassy of the country concerned. Local administrative officials in states that have protected areas have also been authorized to issue the PAPs. In Himachal Pradesh, that authority rests with district magistrate and sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Kinnaur and Lahaul & Spiti districts. An administrative official at Kinnaur, requesting anonymity, told The Indian Express, “It is very rare for MHA or the state administration to issue PAP to Chinese and Pakistani nationals. Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistan origin, cannot be issued a special permit without the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

Gurusawat Singh, a travel agent based in Shimla, said, “A foreign national cannot simply walk into the office of the official concerned and secure the PAP. Applications and requests of the foreign nationals have to be routed through registered travel agents, tourists guides and firms to the local administrative officials.”

The ILP, on the other hand, is an official travel document issued by the state government concerned to allow inward travel to Indian nationals.

Section 14A of Foreigners Act

SP Pandey said an FIR has been registered at Yudong at Pooh police station in Kinnaur. He has been booked under Section 14A of Foreigners Act, 1946, which states that any foreign national caught entering the restricted and protected areas without valid permit shall be prosecuted, sentenced to the imprisonment which will not be less than two years and may be extended to eight years along with a fine which may not be less than Rs 10,000.

As per police, Yudong entered the protected area of ​​village Sumdo along with the Indian woman, on June 6. A senior police officer said they have shared the details about the Chinese national with central agencies including Intelligence Bureau (IB).

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