Army says contents of video showing India-China brawl ‘not authenticated’
The Indian Army on Sunday said that the contents of a violent video, purportedly showing a clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh, are “not authenticated”, and any attempt to link it with the situation on the northern borders is “malafide.”
The video, which is slightly over two and a half minutes long, was seen by Hindustan Times and ostensibly shows a brawl between troops of the two countries on the banks of Pangong Tso, which has been at the centre of a weeks-long border standoff between India and China.
In a statement issued on Sunday morning, army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said, “It has been brought to our notice that a video is doing the rounds in social media on an incident on the borders… Currently, no violence is happening. Differences are being addressed through interaction between military commanders, guided by established protocols on management of borders between the two countries.”
Soldiers of the two countries are eyeball-to-eyeball at four locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Anand said the army strongly condemns attempts to sensationalise issues impacting national security. “The media is requested not to air visuals that are likely to vitiate the current situation on the borders,” he added.
The video shows a clash between Chinese troopers, who arrived in a Humvee-type of a vehicle, and an Indian patrol consisting of army men and Indo-Tibetan Police Force personnel.
China has marshalled close to 5,000 soldiers and deployed tanks and artillery guns on its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh sector where India has also sent military reinforcements and matched the neighbour’s military moves, as reported by Hindustan Times on May 26.
Several rounds of talks between local military commanders have failed to end the standoff that began with a violent confrontation between rival patrols on May 5-6 near Pangong Tso that left scores of soldiers from both sides injured. China’s state-run media has described the latest tensions as the worst since the 2017 Doklam standoff that lasted 73 days.
India and China are talking to each other at military and diplomatic levels to resolve the weeks-long Ladakh standoff, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday assuring the country that the government will not allow India’s dignity to be hurt under any circumstances.
Chinese troops are also holding positions on their side of the border in North Sikkim where soldiers of the two countries were involved in a brawl on May 9 that left seven Chinese and four Indian soldiers injured, as first reported by Hindustan Times.
This is not the first time when such a video has surfaced. A video had surfaced in August 2017 purportedly showing Indian and Chinese soldiers throwing stones at each other and exchanging blows near Pangong Lake.