Personnel of the Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel have arrested a Chinese national in West Bengal while she was attempting to enter Bhutan.

52-year-old Ni Wai Lin was arrested on Thursday from Jaigaon in Alipurduar district while trying to cross into Bhutan’s Phuntsholing town. According to the police, Ni had a valid Chinese passport but her Indian tourist visa had expired. She was subsequently handed over to the Indian intelligence agency for interrogation by the IB’s counter-intelligence cell.

Ni’s arrest comes a fortnight after the Border Security Forces (BSF) intercepted Chinese national Han Junwe in Malda district while he was trying to enter India from Bangladesh.

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The arrest gains significance in light of two more recent arrests of Chinese tourists — one from Bihar-Nepal border and another from Lava in Bengal’s Kalimpong district. These ‘tourists’ were allegedly tasked with taking high-resolution photographs of strategic areas like the Rachen La pass on the Sikkim-Bhutan border near Doklam, where Chinese military intrusions were resisted by the Indian army in 2017. These areas are on the strategic Siliguri corridor (known as chicken’s neck), which connects the Indian mainland with its seven northeastern states.

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