KOLKATA: Indian and Chinese troops on border patrol duties had a brief skirmish in Sikkim, a northeastern Indian state bordering China, the Indian Defence Ministry said on Sunday, blaming both sides for the incident.
“Aggressive behavior by the two sides resulted in minor injuries to troops. The two sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at the local level,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Indian daily Hindustan Times, citing a military source, said four Indian soldiers and seven Chinese troops were injured when some of the soldiers exchanged blows during the confrontation, which it said took place on Saturday and involved some 150 soldiers. The Defence Ministry said the incident took place in the Nakula area but did not give details of how it started, or what caused the injuries. China’s Ministry of Defense could be immediately reached for comment on Sunday. India and China have often accused each other of intrusions into each other’s territories, but clashes are rare. There is still deep mistrust between the two countries over their festering border dispute, which triggered a brief war in 1962.
Hundreds of troops from both sides were deployed in 2017 on the Doklam plateau, near the borders of India, Bhutan, and China after India objected to Chinese construction of a road in the Himalayan area, in the most serious standoff in years.