12 August 2017

News Report: India Forces Deny Having Evacuated Border Villages Fearing Chinese Attack

The Indian Army confirmed that in view of the continuing threats by China, enough troops have been kept on stand-by along the Sikkim border but no villages have been evacuated.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Army has categorically denied having asked villagers to move away from border areas amid prevailing standoff with China over the Doklam area that adjoins Sikkim.

“No village in Sikkim has been evacuated nor is there any such proposal by the forces,” Indian Army sources told Sputnik.

“If you go through the history of China then there have been instances when their internal politics had affected their stand on border. Therefore, the border standoff in the Doklam area is linked with China’s domestic politics. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is going to be held around November and it will be extremely crucial for President Xi Jinping, therefore he is trying to show his strength. Therefore, I think, the tension is not going to ease in the coming days also and it’s a major concern not only for India but for the whole region,” Uday Bhaskar, strategic affairs expert, told Sputnik.

A section of the Indian media had reported on Thursday that nearly a hundred residents of Nathang village in Sikkim, 35 km way from the faceoff point in Doklam, were asked to evacuate their houses by the Indian Army as a precautionary measure to avoid civilian casualties in the eventuality of a skirmish with Chinese forces.

The standoff between India and China ensued after Indian border forces reportedly tried to drive away Chinese troops from the Dokolam plateau —an area claimed both by China and Bhutan. China viewed the Indian forces’ action an unwarranted interference.

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.