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Indian, Chinese soldiers injured in physical fight near Naku La in Sikkim

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Despite the several rounds of diplomatic and military talks the relations between India and China are still tensed, which some times get more sour with heavy military presence on the borders. In a recent incident that happened last week, soldiers on both the side sustained several injuries after getting into physical brawl in the high-altitude area of Naku La in north Sikkim.

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The Army on Monday, however, said it was “a minor face-off” that took place at Naku La on January 20, which was “resolved by local commanders as per established protocols”.

As per sources, the physical clash at Naku La took place after Indian troops challenged the attempt by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to intrude into Indian territory. “Both sides brought in some reinforcements…there were injuries on both sides in the physical clash. But there was no firing. The situation is under control,” said a source.

Located at an altitude of 5,270-meter, Naku La sector is one of the face-off sites where PLA troops has been intruding into Indian territory at multiple points in eastern Ladakh in early-May last year.

Just after first violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops, on May 5-6, along the north bank of Pangong Tso (Tso means lake), another brawl took place at Naku La on May 9. This fight had injured soldiers from both the sides, even as though India-China mobilized troops, tanks and howitzers all along the 3,488-km long Line of Actual Control from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

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The extended confrontation, on June 15, in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh had witnessed a violent outcome, with fatal casualties taking place for the first time in 45 years.

Where, India lost Colonel B Santosh Babu and 19 other soldiers, China didn’t disclose the number of its casualties, however, it did admit that a battalion commanding officer was among the dead. Though, the tension at Naku La had eased after some days but the face-off still continues at the ‘friction points’ in Pangong Tso, Chushul and Gogra-Hotsprings areas of eastern Ladakh.

Meanwhile, India and China held the ninth round of corps commander-level talks on Sunday in yet another bid to de-escalate the tensions in eastern Ladakh. In the meet, Centre once again asked Beijing for ‘complete disengagement and de-escalation’ at all the face-off sites.

However, there are no reports on the outcome of the ninth round of military talks between the delegations led by 14 Corps commander Lt-General P G K Menon and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin. The meeting which had begun at 11 am on Sunday, on the Chinese side of the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point, continued till 2.30 am on Monday.

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