The Indian and Chinese armies have reportedly been locked in sporadic exchanges of fire in Sikkim, where the two countries share a high-altitude border, since Tuesday night.
A senior defence ministry official in Kolkata, where the Eastern Command is based, said the conflict had been on at Nathu-la pass — 54 km east of Sikkim’s capital Gangtok.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Ministry of Defence, however, denied any shooting on the border.
The defence official, who refused to be identified, said, “The gunbattle intensified during the early hours of Wednesday. There are, however, no reports of any death or serious injuries.”
He said although India had not deployed any additional forces in the area, all civilian traffic had been stopped. But the ministry statement said the roads had been closed in the area because of landslides.
The official said, “The skirmish caused concern as at a special joint meeting on August 15 both sides reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen the existing friendship.”
Situated at 14,140 feet, Nathu-la reopened for trade in 2006 after the 1962 Sino-Indian War.