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Sikkim stand-off continues: China demands withdrawal of Indian troops

SNS | New Delhi |

There is no softening of stands between the Indian and Chinese troops in Sikkim with the Beijing demanding the withdrawal of Indian troops as a precondition for “meaningful dialogue” to resolve the situation. India had expressed its deep concern over China constructing a road in the disputed Doklam area near Sikkim.
In a message to the Chinese government, the Centre said that the road would mean a significant change in the status quo with “serious” security implications for India.
Meanwhile, Sikkim government has prepared and sent a report to the Centre, giving details of the situation along the border following the standoff, say PTI reports.
Over the days, Indian and Chinese sides have been at loggerheads. In a video, Indian soldiers were seen grappling with the Chinese counterparts, triggering fear of escalation of the conflict.
China removed an old bunker of the Indian Army at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan in Sikkim using a bulldozer after the Indian side refused to accede to its request, reported PTI quoting its officials.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday asserted that “India of 2017 is different from what it was in 1962”, even as New Delhi told Beijing its actions near Sikkim have “serious” security implications for this country.
The government junked the Chinese accusation that Indian troops crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector and entered Chinese territory. India has always maintained that there is no China between the Sikkim and Bhutan border.
A high-level meeting on Friday reviewed the situation in the Sikkim sector where tensions have flared up between Indian troops and Chinese military over the construction of a road by China in a strategically key area, PTI reported.
The first batch of Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims, a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, comprising about 50 people returned from the Nathu La border post as a result of the standoff. The second batch of pilgrims did not move from Gangtok and pilgrims were told to go home as the pilgrimage was cancelled.