India-China Naku La Sikkim Clash: In a clear sign that the ongoing tense stand-off between the two Asian giants is not going to resolve anytime soon, Indian Army and Chinese PLA soldiers once again clashed in the border area last week. In the violent clash that took place on Wednesday (20 January), both sides sustained injuries. Though the Chinese side remained silent on the issue, Indian Army officially confirmed on Monday that both sides clashed in Naku La area in North Sikkim, saying that the face-off was resolved at local commander’s level.
Indian Army issued the statement after Indian news channels reported the incident.
Indian Army 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 Nakula area of North Sikkim on 20 January 2021 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols,” said the Indian Army.
This is the second incident of violent clash between the two armies during the ongoing stand-off that started in Eastern Ladakh in April-May last year.
In June last year, 20 Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were killed in the violent face off in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh region, which were the first casualty in any clash between the two militaries in nearly fifty years.
In the face off, an unconfirmed number of Chinese PLA soldiers were also killed but China never officially revealed the number of its soldiers killed in the Galwan clash.
Both sides have brought in heavy military equipment, combat jets and attack helicopters as nearly 100,000 heavily armed soldiers from the two militaries are pitted against each other in eastern Ladakh since then.
India-China clash in Naku La, Sikkim
According to reports, People’s Liberation Army soldiers tried to cross the border last week but were challenged by Indian soldiers in Naku La in North Sikkim.
India’s state of Sikkim is located in the middle of Bhutan and Nepal on China border and the violent clash took places in the northern part of the state that is adjacent to Tibet.
The place of clash is some 80 kilometers north of Doklam, where both the armies were pitted against each other in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in 2017.
According to reports, both sides sustained injuries in the clash. While 20 Chinese soldiers sustained injuries, four Indian Army soldiers also sustained injuries.
According to the official sources quoted in reports, Indian Army soldiers were able to foil the intrusion and push back PLA soldiers despite difficult weather.
According to the sources, the situation was stable but tense.
The reports of clash came out a day after India and China held the ninth round of military talks in Ladakh on Sunday.
India and China have held 9 rounds of talks between senior army commanders since the start of the stand-off in April-May last year and diplomats from both sides also joined the talks on several occasions to diffuse the situation but no country has moved back its soldiers from the friction areas.