New Delhi: Security agencies have found that close to four dozen Chinese study centres and other monasteries are present along India's frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan and are allegedly indulging in propaganda programmes.
The development comes at a time when both the countries are often witnessing incidents of incursions by Chinese PLA troops along the icy frontier in Jammu and Kashmir leading to long-standing border disputes between the two neighbours.
A report prepared by the lead intelligence gathering agency at these two frontiers--Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)-- said that 22 China Study Centres (CSC) have come up in the Nepalese territory, with 11 of them operating bang on the 1,751 km long Indo-Nepal border.
The SSB, raised in 1963 in the wake of the Chinese aggression, is also the designated border guarding force at these open borders under the command of the Union Home Ministry.
"These centres are propagating subjects of Chinese culture, traditions, teachings and economy to the population in Nepal which is a cause of concern along the border areas as India's frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan are open and unfenced without any restrictions on the movement of the citizens of either of these countries," a source said, quoting the report.
The report, accessed by PTI, said these centres are giving special impetus on propagation of their work in the fertile 'Terai' areas of the Himalayan nation, especially Jhapa and Ilam districts, which have strong trade, economic and ethnic ties with India.
The force has time and again prepared special reports on these centres which security agencies feel are indulging in "anti-India propaganda" even as the CSCs maintain that they aim to teach Chinese language to locals and disseminate cultural information about China and its various art forms.
Apart from the CSCs, the snoop wing of the border guarding force has reported that 22 monasteries have also come up along the border areas with Bhutan in the Indian territory between the districts of East Sikkim to Jaigaon, a small town in West Bengal near the Bhutan border, also known as the gateway to the neighbouring country at Phuentsholing.
"These monasteries have come up in the last four-five years but their growth ratio is doubtful as there is no proportionate Buddhist population where they are situated and operating. These centres are supposed to carry out religious activities," the source said.