NEW DELHI: Troops of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Indian Army clashed in Ladakh and Sikkim along the Sino-India border.
Confirming the face-off in North Sikkim Indian Army sources said, “Incident of face-off took place. Aggressive behaviour and minor injuries were reported on both sides, disengaged after dialogue and interaction at the local level".
The incident in North Sikkim took place on Saturday around noon near Naku La at more than 19000 ft altitudes, ahead of Muguthang which is the last post along the LAC. “The Chinese have been creating a problem in this area, which has been always peaceful, since 3-4 years and is causing problem regarding the boundary position which otherwise is clearly demarcated,” said another source. Muguthang in the Tibetan language means open space.
Ladakh saw the faceoff on Sunday morning. “Chinese became physical with Indian personnel to which the Indian Army tried and stop and in that, there was a physical brawl,” said another source and added that the scuffle took place on the Indian side of the LAC near the Nallah. It has been resolved but both sides are in the area.
Confirming of the face-off, three different sources admitted that it was the PLA which took an offensive posture since end April and it began first by a moment of the vehicle inside the Indian side of the LAC on 27 April. The Indian Army confronted the PLA personnel and issue was resolved.
Army Sources in Headquarters said, “Temporary and short duration Face-offs occur as boundaries are not resolved. Troops resolve such issues mutually as per established protocols".
A third officer having knowledge of the LAC told, “Every year military activities recede all along the LAC due to inclement weather and terrain conditions thus face-offs recede for about 6-7 month.” He also confirmed that the number of crossing has increased and there are multiple locations of the face-off.
As reported first by this paper, 11th September 2019, Indian and Chinese Army troops were involved in a face-off in Ladakh, the first since over a year when an Indian Army patrol was moving in the northern bank of Pangong Tso, or lake, when Chinese troops objected to their presence. Many areas of the Pangong lake are disputed. Similar aggressive posturing took place in Chumar and Yangtse areas of Ladakh in the past.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first informal summit in April 2018 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, months after the Doklam standoff.
In August 2017, Indian and Chinese soldiers threw stones at each other and had a physical brawl near Pangong Tso Lake near LAC. On 16 June, 2017 a 73-day long stand-off in the disputed Doklam plateau close to Sikkim started.
As a normal exercise, a protocol is followed all along the LAC. “We are keeping vigil all along the border,” told the third officer.
India and China share 3488 kilometers long Line of Actual Control which is divided into three Sectors: Northern, Central and Eastern Sectors with a differing line of perceptions. Both the countries have set protocols to resolve issues and the local commanders are empowered to take decisions to resolve such matters.