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'No connection with global events': Army chief downplays border skirmishes with China

No connection with global events: Army chief downplays border skirmishes with China

Underplaying recent incidents of scuffles between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh and Sikkim, Army Chief General MM Naravane Thursday said both incidents are "neither co-related nor do they have any connection with other global or local activities".

"All such incidents are managed by established mechanisms where-in local formations from both sides resolve issues mutually as per established protocols and strategic guidelines given by the PM after the Wuhan and Mallaparam summits," the Army chief said in a statement.

General Naravane further pointed out that temporary and short duration faceoffs between border guarding troops do occur along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) "due to the differing perceptions of the alignment of boundaries which are not resolved".

Last week, Indian and Chinese troops clashed at two points along the LAC, leaving personnel injured on both sides. The incidents took place in the Naku La sector — it's a mountain pass in Sikkim at an altitude of over 5000 metres — on Saturday, and in a contested area near Pangong Tso, a lake in Ladakh, on the night of May 5-6.

"There were two incidents at Eastern Ladakh and North Sikkim where aggressive behaviour by both sides resulted in minor injuries to troops post which both sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at local level," he said.

A Colonel and a Major, sources said, were among the Indian personnel injured in the Ladakh clash. Army sources told The Indian Express that Chinese troops attacked Indian soldiers on patrol near the Pangong Tso. They were carrying batons studded with nails and this caused serious injuries to several Indian soldiers, some of whom had to be hospitalised. The Indian troops, sources said, also hit back at the Chinese soldiers, and the confrontation continued until senior officers from both sides intervened. The area is said to be on a high state of alert, though there has been "disengagement" after the incident.

(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)

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