A major scuffle has erupted along the India-China border as Chinese troops entered the Indian state of Sikkim and destroyed two Indian bunkers. Chinese troops also engaged in a fight with Indian troops, who are guarding the border at the location.
Ever since newly-appointed Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat took charge, India has expedited work related to building movable modern bunkers along the border shared with China. Sputnik reported in January this year that the Indian Army was using hollow block structures for building hundreds of bunkers near Sikkim.
“The face-off has been going on in Doka La general area in Sikkim for the past 10 days and the Chinese troops have also stopped a batch of pilgrims proceeding on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra,” Indian defense ministry told to news agency PTI. Doka La is located at the tri-junction of Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet. The situation remains tense despite a flag meeting held between senior army officers of both sides on June 20.
China also stopped Indian pilgrims on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, which is on the Chinese side of Tibet. At least 350 pilgrims were to cross over to China through the Nathu La Pass on their way to Mount Kailash, held sacred by the Buddhists, Hindus and Jains. "According to my information, the two governments are in touch over this issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday, but did not elaborate the reason behind the denial of entry for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage.
India’s refusal to take part in One Belt, One Road summit organized by China did not go down well with China. Since then, Beijing has issued a warning over some of the activities conducted by India along the border especially in the north-east region. China opposed the infrastructure development issue several times.
The construction of bunkers has been a flashpoint in Sino-India ties. These bunkers can be easily transported to the Himalayan terrain after getting built in the plains of Assam and Sikkim. The step is an indication of India's keenness to raise a 90,000-strong Mountain Corps for strengthening the deployment along the 4,057-km of Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.