Tensions escalate as Indian, Chinese troops face-off 4-5 metres from each other in Doka La
Indian troops who reached Doka La objected to the Chinese action there and stood ground against the Chinese behaviour. Photograph: (Zee News Network)
Reported by Sanjay Bragta
Indian and Chinese Army troops are sitting opposite each other separated by merely four to five meters in Doka La area as the two forces are engaged in standoff since June 8 when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) destroyed one of the two Indian bunkers built there.
The Indian Army also has the backing of Bhutan which thinks that its territory may be ceded by the Chinese forces if they are not stopped from patrolling and claiming its areas.
Top government sources told Zee Media that trouble between the two sides started on May 18-19 when a Chinese patrol came to the Doka La area and objected to the two bunkers built by the Indian Army there.
The two bunkers built there were not manned and could have acted as a good observation point for the troops there.The Chinese troops brought one of it down and had even got their dumpers and bull dozers to carry out the task on June 8.
Indian troops also reached the point and objected to the Chinese action there and stood ground against the Chinese behaviour. As the arguments and counter arguments on the issue started growing, the Chinese started increasing their number from a few dozen soldiers initially to 150-200 soldiers till yesterday, the sources said.
The Chinese are also making an attempt to shift down the tri-junction point in the Chumbi valley by almost another 12 kilometres to get a bigger hold on the area and get wider depth in case of a military deployment.
The Chinese are now building a road which they want to extend further to a place called that will bring them to the closest possible of the Chicken’s Neck.
"The Chinese troops have even been patrolling areas up to a place called Gemochin where the Royal Bhutanese Army has its posts and PLA troops marched to their positions and reportedly even confronted them for being in their territory," the sources said.
From the Chinese Army's point of view, the Chumbi valley has to be widened as they want to move closer to the strategically important Chicken's Neck corridor in Siliguri which is under the watch of the Army's 33 Corps headquarters situated in Sukna in West Bengal.
The Chicken’s Neck corridor in a land mass connecting mainland India with the northeast and is heavily guarded by India with one full Corps (90,000 troops) of the Army deployed in and around that area to protect it.
Government sources said the India is firm on resolving the issue as per the satisfaction of the parties involved in the disputed land boundary issue in the area.
Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat also reached Sikkim today to take stock of the ongoing situation with the local formation commanders as his troops have stood ground in the area.
Meanwhile, China has accused Indian troops of "crossing the boundary" in the Sikkim section and demanded their immediate withdrawal, while asserting that it has shut down the Nathu La pass entry for Indian pilgrims travelling to Kailash Mansarovar because of the border standoff.
Sources said Bhutan and India have been anticipating such an attempt by the Chinese in this area based on their construction activities and had discussed the scenario in detail a couple of months before the situation came up.
Government sources also clarified that video being run by various elctronic media is of three year old and not the recent one. Sources also added that though forces are in a face off situation but no scuffle occurred between Indian and PLA armies as suggested by section of media.