India, China troops clash in Sikkim; resolved, says Army

Indian and Chinese troops clashed on the Line of Actual Control at Naku La in Sikkim last week, days ahead of the talks between senior military commanders that took place in eastern Ladakh on Sunday.

The Army described the incident, which occurred on January 20, as a “minor face-off”.

Clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh and the same area of Sikkim last May had set off the ongoing military standoff in Ladakh.

In the fresh incident, patrolling units from the two sides came face-to-face in the Naku La sector, which resulted in a physical brawl, without the use of weapons, sources said. Several soldiers from both sides were injured in the clash, the sources said.

In a statement, the Army said: “It is clarified that there was a minor face-off at Nakula area of North Sikkim on 20 January 2021 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols.”

A senior military source said some areas in the region are claimed by both sides, and patrols do sometimes encounter each other. According to this source, the number of Chinese troops who sustained injuries in last week’s clash was in the low double figures, whereas injuries on the Indian side were in single digits. The clash was a “local issue”, and would not impact the situation in eastern Ladakh or the talks to resolve the standoff, the source said.

The Army on Monday said the January 24 meeting with the Chinese side had been “positive, practical and…

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