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Indian, Chinese soldiers clash in Naku La in Sikkim

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Amid the ongoing border dispute at the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, soldiers of Indian Army and the PLA entered into a fight along the Line of Actual Control in Sikkim’s Naku La pass last week, the Indian Army said. The Army, however, downplayed it as a “minor face-off” which occurred when a Chinese patrol team crossed into Indian territory on January 20.

The Army said that the incident resulted in insignificant and minor injuries on both sides and the tensions were resolved by local commanders as per the set protocol. While four Indian Army jawans sustained injuries, around 20 PLA soldiers were injured in the incident. The Army was successful in pushing back Chinese soldiers despite tough weather conditions in North Sikkim. The situation at the clash site is tense, but stable.

Indian Army statement

Indian Army issued a short statement on the matter. It said, “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 20 January and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols.

Sensitive region

The Naku La pass, located at an altitude of 19,000 feet, connects Sikkim to the Tibet region in China and is known to be a sensitive area.

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Troops of both sides last clashed in the same region in May 2020, just days before an unprecedented escalation of the border tussle in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

India-China clash of June 15

The stand-off between India and China which started in April-May peaked on June 15. The face-off intensified after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese troops at the Galwan Valley.

Some 40 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured in the clash. However, Beijing never confirmed the number of casualties on its side. The two nations had agreed on disengagement since.

After the clash, the Indian government has taken stern measures for Chinese companies doing business in India. As part of the measures, it has blocked over 100 Chinese apps including TikTok and apps developed by Xiaomi and e-commerce giant Alibaba. India is also gradually reducing its dependence on Chinese imports.

 

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