Indian and Chinese soldiers injured in cross-border fistfight, says Delhi

Indian and Chinese soldiers injured in cross-border fistfight, says Delhi

As per fresh inputs from sources, on the intervening night of May 5 and 6, a scuffle and stone-pelting incident took place between Indian and Chinese soldiers at the Finger 5 area on the banks of Lake Pangang in Ladakh.

Eleven soldiers, four Indian and seven Chinese, were reported to have been injured in the incident, which took place during a patrol in Nuka La, North Sikkim, according to CNN affiliate News18.

Indian Army Eastern Command spokesman Mandeep Hooda told AFP: 'Aggressive behaviour by the two sides resulted in minor injuries to troops. "The two sides disengaged after a dialogue and interaction at the local level", a senior Army officer said. However, it was pointed out that such an encounter occurred after a long time, adding that it is resolved mutually by troops as per established protocols.

However, sources in the Indian defence ministry claimed that the physical altercation erupted after the Chinese pushed Indian soldiers aggressively near the the Pangong Tso lake.

There is still deep mistrust between the two countries over their festering border dispute, which triggered a brief war in 1962.

Sources said that the face-off was "temporary and short duration" in nature and was not a stand-off.

According to the Press Trust of India, 150 soldiers were involved in the face-off which took place near the 15,000 feet Nathu La crossing which connects India's Sikkim state with Tibet.

"Under such circumstances the two sides should work together with each other, properly manage and handle the differences, earnestly uphold peace and stability in the border region so as to create enabling conditions for our bilateral relations as well as the joint fight against Covid-19", Zhao added.

In 2017, Indian troops moved to block the construction of a Chinese road in the Doklam area claimed by both China and Bhutan, close to the Indian border.

Beijing said India had no role to play in the area, and ordered its troops to withdraw unilaterally or face the prospect of an escalation.

After months of rising tensions and live-fire drills, the two governments eventually agreed to back down in August 2017.

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