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Did Chinese officials bar Mansarovar devotees from taking holy dip? Sushma Swaraj responds

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought to downplay reports suggesting that Kailash Mansarovar devotees were barred from taking a holy dip in the Mansarovar lake by Chinese officials. Addressing the media in the capital on the completion of the four years of the Modi government, the Minister on Monday clarified that she had received a tweet from a group of pilgrims alleging they were not allowed to take holy dip in the lake. But she said that the situation was different from what she was told. She said that there is always a designated place where devotees are allowed to take holy dip. This morning I received a tweet from devotees alleging they are not being allowed to take a dip. I directed the JSEA who is in charge for the yatra to establish a link and he told me that there is no situation like this, she said. There is always a designated place where you can take a bath. No one can take a dip just anywhere in the lake. We have conveyed the same to the people who contacted us. Several devotees had on Monday claimed that they were not allowed to take a holy dip in the lake by the Chinese officials. They alleged that if they are not allowed to perform the rituals, they will not return. In a video tweet shared by Sanjeev Thakur who is leading a delegation of Indian devotees also questioned why they were given visa if they cant take a holy dip in the lake. He claimed that China has issued an order not to allow devotees from taking a dip in the lake. There are around 50-80 devotees accompanying me. Over 3,000 people from across the world are undertaking this pilgrimage. But, according to an order by China, we are not being allowed to take a holy dip in the Mansarovar Lake, he said. Devotees at Kailash Mansarovar have alleged that Chinese authorities are not allowing them to take holy dip in the Mansarovar Lake pic.twitter.com\/pOF9jFRlWA There are two routes to reach the Mansarovar lake in Tibet region of China – Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and Nathu La Pass in Sikkim. The Nathu La Pass route was opened in 2015.