New Delhi, January 25
Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a “minor face-off” at Naku La area in North Sikkim on January 20 and it was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols, the Indian Army said on Monday.
The incident in Sikkim came amid the prolonged military standoff between the two sides in eastern Ladakh that erupted on May 5.
“It is clarified that there was a minor face-off at Naku La area of North Sikkim on January 20 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols. Media is requested to refrain from overplaying or exaggerating reports which are factually incorrect,” the Army said in a brief statement.
People familiar with the developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in North Sikkim said the Chinese troops attempted to transgress into the Indian side of the frontier but were stopped by the Indian military personnel.
They also said a brawl had broken out between the troops of the two armies.
Naku La was the same site where the Indian and Chinese troops had engaged in a fierce clash on May 9 last year following a violent face-off between the two sides in Pangong lake area that triggered the military standoff in eastern Ladakh.
The Indian and Chinese armies on Sunday held another round of Corps Commander-level talks with an aim to move forward on disengagement of troops from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh.
Following the Ladakh standoff, the Indian Army has significantly bolstered its strength at all its bases along the nearly 3,500 KM-long LAC, the de-facto border between the two nuclear-powered Asian giants.
India has all along been maintaining that the onus is on China to carry forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation at the friction points in the icy heights of eastern Ladakh.
Close to 100,000 Indian and Chinese troops are deployed in eastern Ladakh as both sides have been holding on to their ground and showing readiness for a long-haul, amid continuing diplomatic and military talks to find an amicable solution.
Reflecting India’s firm approach in handling the situation, Army chief Gen MM Naravane had said nearly two weeks ago that Indian troops will hold their ground as long as it takes to achieve the “national goals and objectives” even as he hoped for an amicable resolution of the border standoff through talks. PTI