Troops of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Indian Army clashed in Ladakh and Sikkim along their common border in recent days in separate incidents, spiking tensions between the Asian neighbours.
The Indian Army on Sunday confirmed that its soldiers were engaged in a tense face-off with Chinese troops along the border in northern Sikkim and attributed it to the undemarcated boundary issue between the two countries.
The face-off, which included “aggressive behaviour and minor injuries on both sides” said the Indian army, took place after a long time. The Indian Army’s statement comes after Hindustan Times reported Saturday’s face-off involving scores of Indian and Chinese soldiers. The confrontation between the troops took place near the Naku La sector at over 5,000 metres, the Hindustan Times report said.
Meanwhile Ladakh saw the face-off overnight Wednesday with troops getting into “a physical fight,” a person familiar with the development said adding that the scuffle took place on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
In response to that two helicopters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army hovered close to the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh on May 5 and Indian Air Force fighter jets had also been airborne at the same time during a face-off between soldiers near the Pangong lake, sources in the army headquarters said on Tuesday.
“The Indian Air Force is regularly carrying out sorties of its Sukhoi 30 fighter aircraft in the Ladakh sector amid the simmering tension with China in the region. During the face-off last week, two Chinese choppers had come close to the border but there was no air space violation. The IAF’s Sukhoi 30 fighter jets were also airborne at the same time but it was routine flying and not in response to Chinese helicopters,” a source said.
“Helicopters are allowed to fly till the border on both sides. There has been no violation of Indian air space. And never have jets been scrambled in the past for helicopters in the northern sector,” said an IAF officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The last major standoff between India and China sides took place at the Doklam plateau in 2017 when the two armies faced off against each other for 73 days.
The confrontations between the two countries come as most of the world, has been focused on arresting the spread of the novel coronavirus disease in the country, which first surfaced in China in December.