The Army on Monday said that there was a “minor face-off” between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control near Naku La in Sikkim last week, ANI reported. Naku La is known to be sensitive area, connecting Sikkim to the Tibet region in China.
The fresh clashes erupted on January 22, the Army said. “It was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols,” it added.
The Army also said that the media should “refrain from overplaying or exaggerating reports which are factually incorrect”, NDTV reported. According to reports, the troops came face-to-face after the Chinese side attempted to intrude into India’s territory along the de facto border.
Soldiers from both sides were reportedly injured in the brawl, according to The Economic Times. The situation was under control by Monday.
The reports come just as Indian and Chinese military commanders held the ninth round of talks on Sunday to address the ongoing border standoff between the two countries in eastern Ladakh. The talks began in Moldo opposite Chushul sector in India at 10 am, and continued for almost 15 hours till 2.30 am.
Relations between India and China have hit a multi-decade low since clashes in eastern Ladakh in June that killed 20 Indian soldiers. China is also believed to have suffered casualties, but has not given any details. Both India and China have accused each other of crossing into rival territory and of firing shots for the first time in 45 years.
In the last Corps Commander-level talks held in November, the two sides had agreed to ensure that their troops exercise restraint and avoid any misunderstanding and miscalculation along the Line of Actual Control. The discussion, however, remained inconclusive.
Meanwhile, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that India will not reduce the deployment of troops along the Line of Actual Control till China starts the process. “We have not reduced the number of troops along friction points,” Singh said in an interview. “We will not do so unless China reduces the deployment of troops on its side.”