Even as ninth round of talks were held between two sides on Sunday to discuss disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, a fresh clash broke out between Indian and Chinese troops in Naku La in Sikkim. The talks began in Moldo opposite Chushul sector in India at 10 am, and continued for almost 15 hours till 2.30 am.
Indian soldiers reportedly thwarted an intrusion bid by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at strategic Naku La three days back. According to highly placed sources, physical clashes ensued and soldiers from both sides were reportedly injured. However, no firearms were used during the clash. The situation is reported to be under control at present.
The face-off however was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols, Army said in a statement. “We have received several queries regarding a face-off between Indian Army and PLA troops in Sikkim sector. It is clarified that there was a minor face-off at Naku La area of North Sikkim on January 20, 2021, and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols,” the Army statement said.
Incidentally, India took up the matter on the clash with China through a demarche protesting the action of the PLA on the incident that happened on January 18.
Incidentally, nearly 100,000 Indian and Chinese troops continue to remain deployed in icy heights in eastern Ladakh amid the ongoing border standoff which took a deadly turn in June last year at the Galwan Valley.
Twenty bravehearts of the Indian Army led by Col Santosh Babu were martyred in the Galwan Valley clash in which the Chinese side also suffered heavy casualties. It was the first instance of border casualty between India and China in nearly five decades.