Army confirms India-China face-off in north Sikkim
NEW DELHI : The Indian Army sources on Sunday (May 10) confirmed that a heated confrontation took place between Indian and Chinese soldiers in North Sikkim a few days ago and troops on both sides received injuries.
A number of personnel on both sides sustained injuries as they exchanged punches, PTI quoted official sources as saying, adding the troops disengaged after a dialogue at the local level.
“Troops resolve such issues mutually as per established protocols. Such an incident occurred after a long time,” said a source. It is learnt that a total of 150 soldiers were involved in the face-off that reportedly took place a few days back.
Earlier in the day, reports claimed that clashes erupted between Indian and Chinese forces in Naku La sector of north Sikkim. The area has no road connectivity and is maintained by helicopter.
According to sources the clashes took place during regular patrolling by the forces from the two countries and the matter has been resolved at local level as of now. Some reports claimed that the face-off was so intense that soldiers from both sides got injured.
Naku La sector is located ahead of Muguthang and the area in the region was traditionally not prone to clashes between the soldiers from the two countries. It was the first case of troops from both sides exchanging blows after a similar incident had taken place in Pangong Lake in Ladakh in August 2017.
The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam tri-junction in 2017, which even triggered fears of a war between the two neighbours. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border between the two countries. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.
Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
Meanwhile, Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane has said that the time has come for India to adopt a “whole-of-government approach” in decisively confronting the “strategic uncertainties” looming on its horizon as well as non-traditional threats like pandemics, strongly pitching for broadening the country’s national security doctrine.
Talking about complex geopolitical power play in India’s neighbourhood, Gen Naravane said the Indian armed forces are determined to “cement” the country’s reputation as a net security provider in the region.
“There is an entire spectrum of strategic uncertainties that looms on the horizon and a whole-of-government approach is the need of the hour to deal with them,” the Army Chief said.
Though Gen Naravane did not elaborate, his comments came in the backdrop of Pakistan-supported Taliban’s aim for a role in power structure in Afghanistan and China’s persistent efforts to expand military ties with countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar and the Maldives.
(Agency Inputs with PTI Report).