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India increases troops in disputed Doka La

By The Assam Tribune
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NEW DELHI, July 2 - India has pumped in more troops in a �non-combative mode� to strengthen its position in an area near Sikkim, where its soldiers have been locked in a standoff with Chinese troops for almost a month now in what has been the longest such impasse between the two armies since 1962.

India brought in more troops after the destruction of two of its bunkers and �aggressive tactics� adopted by the Chinese People�s Liberation Army (PLA), sources said. In a �non-combative mode�, the nozzle of a gun is placed downwards.

Giving details for the first time about the events that preceded the face-off between the two armies, the sources said the PLA on June 1 asked the Indian Army to remove the two bunkers set up in 2012 at Lalten in Doka La, which falls in the vicinity of Chumbi Valley at the corner of India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

The Indian Army, which had been patrolling this area for many years, decided in 2012 that two bunkers would be positioned there as a backup option, besides providing security to the Bhutan-China border.

The Indian Army forward positions informed Sukna-based 33 Corps headquarters in North Bengal about the Chinese warnings on the bunkers, the sources said. However, during the night of June 6, two Chinese bulldozers destroyed the bunkers, claiming that the area belonged to China and that India or Bhutan had no right over it, the sources added.

Indian troops on the ground prevented the Chinese men and machines from doing any further damage or transgressing into the area, they said.

Additional forces from nearby brigade headquarters, located 20 km from the face-off point, were moved in on June 8 during which a scuffle led to soldiers on both sides suffering minor injuries. PLA troops were rushed in from its 141 division located in the area, prompting the Indian Army to also strengthen its position.

This is the longest stand-off between the two armies since 1962. The last one, which carried on for 21 days, occurred at Daulat Beg Oldie in the Ladakh division of Jammu and Kashmir in 2013, when Chinese troops entered 30 km into Indian territory till the Depsang Plains and claimed it to be a part of its Xinjiang province. They were, however, pushed back.

Sikkim, which became a part of India in May 1976, is the only state which has a demarcated border with China. The lines are based on a treaty signed with the Chinese in 1898.

After the India-China war of 1962, the area where the Indian troops are stationed was placed under the Indian Army and the ITBP, which is the border guarding force and has a camp 15 km from the international border.

Meanwhile, China has released a map to back its claim that Indian troops �transgressed� into the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector, which it claims as part of its territory.

In the map, released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, a blue arrow with markings in Chinese points Indian troops alleged transgression into the area to prevent the PLA troops from building a strategic road.

The map shows Doklam as part of Chinese territory. Bhutan has protested to China asserting that the area is part of its territory and Chinese action is vocative of 1988 and 1998 agreements.

The map is in addition to two photographs released on Thursday purportedly showing Indian troops on the Chinese side of the border.

During a media briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang displayed the photographs of the alleged Indian �incursion� into the area. Later, the ministry uploaded them on its website.

A stand-off erupted between the two militaries after the Indian Army blocked construction of the road by China in the Doklam area. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it to be part of its Donglang region. � PTI

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India increases troops in disputed Doka La

NEW DELHI, July 2 - India has pumped in more troops in a �non-combative mode� to strengthen its position in an area near Sikkim, where its soldiers have been locked in a standoff with Chinese troops for almost a month now in what has been the longest such impasse between the two armies since 1962.

India brought in more troops after the destruction of two of its bunkers and �aggressive tactics� adopted by the Chinese People�s Liberation Army (PLA), sources said. In a �non-combative mode�, the nozzle of a gun is placed downwards.

Giving details for the first time about the events that preceded the face-off between the two armies, the sources said the PLA on June 1 asked the Indian Army to remove the two bunkers set up in 2012 at Lalten in Doka La, which falls in the vicinity of Chumbi Valley at the corner of India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

The Indian Army, which had been patrolling this area for many years, decided in 2012 that two bunkers would be positioned there as a backup option, besides providing security to the Bhutan-China border.

The Indian Army forward positions informed Sukna-based 33 Corps headquarters in North Bengal about the Chinese warnings on the bunkers, the sources said. However, during the night of June 6, two Chinese bulldozers destroyed the bunkers, claiming that the area belonged to China and that India or Bhutan had no right over it, the sources added.

Indian troops on the ground prevented the Chinese men and machines from doing any further damage or transgressing into the area, they said.

Additional forces from nearby brigade headquarters, located 20 km from the face-off point, were moved in on June 8 during which a scuffle led to soldiers on both sides suffering minor injuries. PLA troops were rushed in from its 141 division located in the area, prompting the Indian Army to also strengthen its position.

This is the longest stand-off between the two armies since 1962. The last one, which carried on for 21 days, occurred at Daulat Beg Oldie in the Ladakh division of Jammu and Kashmir in 2013, when Chinese troops entered 30 km into Indian territory till the Depsang Plains and claimed it to be a part of its Xinjiang province. They were, however, pushed back.

Sikkim, which became a part of India in May 1976, is the only state which has a demarcated border with China. The lines are based on a treaty signed with the Chinese in 1898.

After the India-China war of 1962, the area where the Indian troops are stationed was placed under the Indian Army and the ITBP, which is the border guarding force and has a camp 15 km from the international border.

Meanwhile, China has released a map to back its claim that Indian troops �transgressed� into the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector, which it claims as part of its territory.

In the map, released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, a blue arrow with markings in Chinese points Indian troops alleged transgression into the area to prevent the PLA troops from building a strategic road.

The map shows Doklam as part of Chinese territory. Bhutan has protested to China asserting that the area is part of its territory and Chinese action is vocative of 1988 and 1998 agreements.

The map is in addition to two photographs released on Thursday purportedly showing Indian troops on the Chinese side of the border.

During a media briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang displayed the photographs of the alleged Indian �incursion� into the area. Later, the ministry uploaded them on its website.

A stand-off erupted between the two militaries after the Indian Army blocked construction of the road by China in the Doklam area. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it to be part of its Donglang region. � PTI