In­dia Re­jects China’s Claims, Says 400 Troops at Dokalam

China had claimed that In­dia has scaled down num­ber of sol­diers de­ployed to about 40 at Dokalam, where armed forces of the two sides are locked in a face-off for the past two months

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Di­pan­janRoy.Chaud­hury @times­group.com

New Delhi: In­dia, con­trary to Chi­nese claims, on Wed­nes­day de­nied that there has been any re­duc­tion in Indian troops in Dokalam plateau, where armed forces of the two sides are locked in a face-off over the past two months. The Indian gov­ern­ment has em­pha­sised that in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by China is in­cor­rect and that 350 to 400 sol­diers still re­main de­ployed in the area from ei­ther side. The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment — which in­sists that In­dia must with­draw its troops be­fore a di­a­logue can be ini­ti­ated to end the stand­off — has claimed that there has been a scale-down in the num­ber of Indian troops.

In a 15-page doc­u­ment, the Chi­nese for­eign min­istry on Wed­nes­day claimed that there are ap­prox­i­mately 40 Indian sol­diers fac­ing off against the Chi­nese army in Dokalam, down from 400 that had been in the area at one point.

“On 16 June 2017, the Chi­nese side was build­ing a road in the Dong Lang (Dokalam) area. On 18 June, over 270 Indian bor­der troops, car­ry­ing weapons and driv­ing two bull­doz­ers, crossed the bound­ary in the Sikkim Sec­tor at the Duo Ka La (Doka La) pass and ad­vanced more than100 me­tres into the Chi­nese ter­ri­tory to ob­struct the road build­ing of the Chi­nese side, caus­ing ten­sion in the area. In ad­di­tion to the two bull­doz­ers, the tres­pass­ing Indian bor­der troops, reach­ing as many as over 400 peo­ple at one point, have put up three tents and ad­vanced over 180 met- res into the Chi­nese ter­ri­tory. As of the end of July, there were still over 40 Indian bor­der troops and one bull­dozer il­le­gally stay­ing in the Chi­nese ter­ri­tory,” claimed the doc­u­ment.

How­ever, per­sons fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion in­formed that In­dia has not re­duced the num­ber of its troops. “In­dia con­sid­ers that peace and tran­quil­lity in the In­di­aChina bor­der ar­eas is an im­por­tant pre­req­ui­site for smooth de­vel­op­ment of our bi­lat­eral re­la­tions with China,” ac­cord­ing to MEA spokesper­son.

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