India has ordered evacuation of frontier Sikkim village: Chinese mediaUpdated: Aug 11, 2017 07:59 IST
The army has ordered evacuation of a frontier Sikkim village near the site of a tense India-China border standoff, the People’s Daily newspaper said on Thursday.
The Indian military refused comments on the report by the neighbouring Asian giant’s biggest newspaper, which also happens to be the Communist Party of China’s mouthpiece.
But army sources denied any evacuation or plans for such an action in Sikkim.
The People’s Daily tweeted: “Indian troops on Thu orders evacuation of Nathang village, near site of two-month standoff between #Chinese and #Indian armies.”
The tweet carried a picture showing the two points where the Indian military allegedly crossed the “mutually recognized boundary”.
The People’s Daily account about the evacuation matches reports in sections of Indian media that said the villagers have been asked to vacate their houses immediately.
Beijing has taken an aggressive stand since the standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers began on June 16. It accuses New Delhi of trespass and preventing its soldiers from building a road in the disputed region of Doklam, located at a strategic tri-junction between India, China and Bhutan.
According to Bhutan and India, Doklam is part of Bhutanese territory. Beijing says Indian troops should withdraw from the Doklam plateau, while New Delhi maintains that the planned Chinese road will have serious security implication for India.
The Chinese rejected India’s suggestion for a simultaneous withdrawal of troops to end the longest border faceoff between the neighbours in nearly three decades.
The Indian Army is said to have rescheduled a routine training exercise of troops from the Siliguri-based 33 Corps because of the border dispute.
Sources said the schedule of Operation Alert, a two-week training exercise for troops to familiarise with the area, was advanced from late September to early August.
India hopes to settle the crisis through bilateral talks, despite the Chinese sabre-rattling.
War is not a solution and India would resolve the standoff with China through dialogue, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said in Parliament last week. But China has not budged from its stand that India must unilaterally withdraw its troops from Doklam.
Even if there is one Indian soldier even for a day it is still a violation of China’s sovereignty, Wang Wenli, a top Chinese foreign ministry official said earlier this week.
“The Indian side has also many tri-junctions. What if we use the same excuse and enter the Kalapani region between China, India and Nepal or even into the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan?” she asked.
First Published: Aug 10, 2017 19:35 IST