Indian, Chinese Troops Come to Blows in Ladakh, Injuries Reported

On Saturday, as many as 11 soldiers – four Indian and seven Chinese – were injured after a tense face-off near the Naku La sector (ahead of Muguthang Valley), a pass at a height of over 5,000 metres in the Sikkim sector. As per officials, the two Asian giants share a 2,400-mile long demarcated border.

Sources in the Indian Defence Ministry have confirmed the occurrence of another face-off with Chinese troops after the latter transgressed into Indian territory near Nallah in the Ladakh sector on Sunday morning.

“[The] Chinese became physical with Indian personnel to which the Indian Army tried and stop. And, in that, there was a physical brawl. Several soldiers from both sides have sustained injuries”, an Indian Defence Ministry official revealed.

The issue, he said, has been resolved, but troops on both sides are currently present.

“Short and temporary face-offs keep occurring as the boundaries between the two countries are not resolved. However, the troops resolve such issues or matters at a local level and as per the established protocols”, the official said, adding that there has been a spike in such encounters over the last few years.

Last year, there was massive stone pelting between the two forces near Ladakh, in which dozens of troops were injured. Soldiers from both countries were also involved in a skirmish on 11 September, when Chinese troops objected to the presence of an Indian Army patrol on the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake.

The recent tensions have been heightened along the India-China border since 27 April, after Chinese personnel entered inside the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with a vehicle, but the Indian Army confronted the personnel and the matter was resolved.

In northern Sikkim, where two sides were involved in the scuffle, the Indian Armed Forces have lost two helicopters since 7 May, which indicates that there has been increased movement by the Indian side as well.

As per official data from the Indian Defence Ministry, the Chinese troops have transgressed into Indian territory as many as 752 times in the last two years. Both nations have accused each other of entering their territories.

Just three years ago, in 2017, Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a 2.5-month long standoff after Chinese troops started constructing a road in the Doklam region, which exists as a tri-junction at the border that separates India, Bhutan, and China.

A stalemate in relations developed between the two countries over the standoff. The situation normalised only after both sides agreed to disengage in August 2018.