Indian, Chinese military commanders hold meeting on Tawang skirmish

At least six Indian soldiers have reportedly received minor injuries in the skirmish.

New Delhi | Updated: 13 December, 2022 11:41 am IST

Military commanders of India and China held a flag meeting after many Indian and Chinese soldiers received injuries during a hand-to-hand combat in a contested area along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh on December 9.

In a statement, a defence spokesperson on Monday said that the face-off led to “minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides”.

“In certain areas along the LAC in the Tawang Sector in Arunachal Pradesh, there are areas of differing perception wherein both sides patrol the area up to their claim lines. This has been the trend since 2006,” the defence spokesperson based in Assam’s Tezpur said.

The official said that troops of the People Liberation Army (PLA) “contacted the LAC in Tawang Sector which was contested by own troops in a firm and resolute manner”.

According to media reports, at least six Indian soldiers were injured in the face-off and sent to a hospital in Guwahati for treatment.

“Both sides immediately disengaged from the area. As a follow up of the incident, the commander in the area held a Flag Meeting with his counterpart to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquility,” the spokesperson informed.

On Tuesday morning, many parliamentarians gave notices in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha for moving a motion to suspend business of the house to discuss the skirmish in the Tawang region.

Meanwhile, defence minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to make a statement in the parliament over the incident. In the morning, Singh was briefed on the security situation in Tawang by chief of defence staff Anil Chauhan and the chiefs of the three services in New Delhi.

Tawang has been an area of interest for China because of its Tibetan Buddhism links.

In September last year, 200 Chinese soldiers crossed into Indian territory in Tawang, the north-western district of Arunachal Pradesh, which shares a boundary with Bhutan to its west and Tibet in the north. Military patrol parties of India and China stood face to face for hours just north-east of Tawang. However, matters were deescalated without any combat.

During the Sino-Indian war of 1962, Tawang fell briefly under Chinese control, but China withdrew its troops at the end of the war. Tawang again came under Indian administration.

The fresh round of clash between the patrol parties of both countries puts a break on the disengagement in border skirmishes since the June 15, 2020 incident in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and several others were injured in violent clashes with the PLA troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.

Military commanders of both countries held at least 11 round of talks for disengagement.

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a notional demarcation line that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory in the Sino-Indian border dispute.

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