New Delhi: At least 12 Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in stone pelting and fist fight along the Line of Actual Control in North Sikkim Saturday after a patrol party of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel was stopped.
Army sources said the intense stand-off was later resolved with the intervention of officers at the local Command level.
Incidentally, this is the same area where an Army helicopter carrying unidentified passengers was forced to make a hard landing.
The confrontation happened near the Naku La sector, a pass at a height of more than 5,000 metres.
A patrol party of the PLA came across Indian soldiers in an area they consider Chinese territory. This led to the face-off and more troops were called in, sources said.
They added that the soldiers exchanged blows with each other besides pelting stones in which some of them were injured.
“There was aggressive behaviour and minor injuries on both sides. Both sets of soldiers disengaged after local level interaction and dialogue. The issue was solved through established protocols for such issues,” a source in the Army Headquarters here said.
‘Face-offs occur as boundaries are not resolved’
Army sources said the incident happened after a very long time and pointed out that the temporary and short duration face-offs occur as boundaries are not resolved.
In August 2017, Indian and Chinese soldiers had pelted each other with stones and exchanged blows near Pangong Lake in Ladakh.
Since ‘Operation Juniper‘ — when Indian troops moved into Doklam, a small territory in Bhutan, to stop the Chinese army from constructing a road that threatens India’s strategic interests — India has increased focus on its northern and eastern boundaries than being purely Pakistan centric.
Army Chief Gen M.M. Naravane had said the force was “re-balancing” its deployment and strategy along the western, northern and northeastern borders to deal with any kind of threat that might emerge — be it from Pakistan or China.