New Delhi/Beijing–Indian and Chinese troops faced off along the border in Sikkim, with reports that the Chinese troops entered the Indian side and destroyed two Indian Army bunkers.
While the Indian Army refused to comment on the incident, the Chinese Army has come out strongly against “provocation” by Indian troops and accused them of entering into Chinese territory and impeding road construction activity.
According to information, Chinese troops entered the Indian side of the border in Lalten in the Doka La region at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction and also destroyed two Army bunkers.
There was no official comment from the Indian Army or Defence Ministry on the incident.
An undated video of a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops was also doing the rounds. The video showed troops from India and China involved in a scuffle.
Sources said that tension had been brewing for a while in the area after Chinese troops tried to enter, but were stopped by Indian troops.
The China’s defence ministry confirmed the incident, saying “Indian troops crossed the border with China in an attempt to prevent a road construction by the Chinese side.”
“Indian troops’ provocation has violated the consensus and relevant agreements on border issues between the Chinese and Indian governments, seriously endangering the peace of the border areas,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang said on Monday.
Ren urged the Indian side not to complicate border issues, and reiterated China’s firm resolve to safeguard its sovereignty.
The road construction was carried out on China’s territory, and India has no right to interfere, Ren said.
The PLA, in a statement, said: “The China-Indian border in Sikkim has been delineated by historical treaties. After the independence of India, the Indian government has confirmed in writing several times, acknowledging that there is no objection to the border between the two sides.”
“The construction of the above-mentioned roads (Donglang sector) by the Chinese side is entirely a sovereign act in its own territory, and the Indian side has no right to interfere,” it said.
The development comes as China last week refused entry to the first batch of some 50 Indian pilgrims, who were to travel to Kailash Mansarovar, via Nathu La in Sikkim.
In the same area, in November 2008 Chinese forces had destroyed some makeshift Indian army bunkers. (IANS)