Sikkim border standoff: Amid China aggression, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat reaches Gangtok to take stock of situation

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat reached Sikkim's capital Gangtok on Thursday morning amid standoff between Indian troops and Chinese army along the India-China border in the sensitive sector which is threatening to further strain the bilateral ties, reported India Today.

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Rawat will take stock of operational matters and meet with the top army commanders at formation headquarters in the border state. Official sources described General Rawat's visit as routine.

The genesis of the latest standoff is understood to have had a link to Donglang, a narrow but strategically important tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan. China has accused Indian troops of "crossing the boundary" in the Sikkim section, calling for their immediate withdrawal and a thorough investigation of the issue.

 Sikkim border standoff: Amid China aggression, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat reaches Gangtok to take stock of situation

File image of Army chief General Bipin Rawat. PTI

Rawat will visit other formation headquarters in the North East and review operational matters in the region that shares most of India's 3,488-kilometre-long border with China, reported Asian Age.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang claimed in a statement on Monday night that the Indian border guards crossed the boundary in the Sikkim section of the China-India border and entered Chinese territory.

China has urged India, PTI quoted Geng as saying, to immediately withdraw its border guards that have crossed the boundary and have a thorough investigation of this matter, Geng said. They obstructed normal activities of the Chinese frontier forces in the Donglang area in Sikkim recently, and the Chinese side has taken counter-measures, he said. The Sikkim section of the China-India boundary has been defined by treaties, Geng said, noting that the Indian government has repeatedly confirmed in writing that there is no objection to it.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) had on Monday accused the Indian military of stopping the construction of a road in what it claims to be China's "sovereign territory" in the Sikkim section of the India-China border and said the move has "seriously damaged" border peace and tranquillity.

China had also demanded their immediate withdrawal, while asserting that it has shut down the Nathu La pass entry for Indian pilgrims travelling to Kailash Mansarovar because of the border standoff. China also said that it has lodged diplomatic protests with India, both in New Delhi and Beijing, alleging that the Indian troops trespassed into Chinese territory in the Sikkim sector.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jun 29, 2017 11:34:24 IST