NEW DELHI: As the stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops continues in Sikkim, officials in national capital claim that People’s Liberation Army has removed an old bunker of the Indian Army located at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan in Sikkim by using a bulldozer, while eventually led to present circumstances.
With the eyeball to eyeball situation persisting for the 12th day, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is scheduled to visit Sikkim on Thursday to take stock of the ground situation. He will also visit some other states on the North-East, sources said here on Wednesday.
While on the other side, China on Wednesday hinted India was acting at the behest of Bhutan by crossing the boundary to obstruct construction of a road in the Chinese territory. Beijing also said future visits of pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar through Nathu La in Sikkim will depend on whether India will “correct its errors.”
The Army has rushed more reinforcements to the face-off site in the Doka La area of Sikkim. Doka La is at the tri-junction of Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet and is strategically important for India as the crucial Siliguri corridor known in military parlance as Chicken Neck having road and rail head is just 50 to 60 kms from there.
At present more than 1,000 soldiers from both the armies engaged in the stand-off which began when the Chinese troops intruded into Doka La and destroyed two Indian army bunkers. China said the bunkers were built on its territory and India contested the claim stating the bunkers were on the Indian side.
A scuffle broke out between the troops when Indian troops formed a human wall to prevent the Chinese from proceeding forward. A meeting between the local commanders of both the armies on June 20 to resolve the issue failed. Senior officers of 17 Division of the Indian Army responsible this sector are now camping near the site to monitor the situation, sources said.
Terming the construction of the road as "legitimate," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Wednesday the road was being built on Chinese territory that neither belongs to India nor Bhutan and no other country had the right to interfere.
China had lodged a protest with India over the alleged "crossing of boundary" by its troops in the Sikkim section and demanded their immediate withdrawal. It had also linked future visits of pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar to India "withdrawing the troops" from the area.