A senior former Indian Army official has said that an Indian Brigadier had crossed the border and warned Chinese troops to step back at the time of Doklam Standoff. The revelation was made by Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi (retd), the then General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, The Tribune reported. Bakshi also spoke on deployment of Army on internal security duties in Darjeeling during the Gorkhaland agitation.
He said that Army can’t be expected to deal with a foreign adversary and also simultaneously look after a law and order problem inside the country. Bakshi, who retired in July this year, was passed over for promotion to the Chief of Army Staff. He said that China now considered India as a threat and has been now forced to deploy its troops along the Line of Actual Control.
The senior army official made his comments while taking part in a panel discussion on “Strategic Perspective: China” at Chandigarh Literature Festival. Lt Gen Bakshi said that “National priority versus the state priority of politics came to the fore.”
“Whilst we were engaged, Darjeeling went up in flames due to some politics played by West Bengal. A very firm message had to be given to the West Bengal because the military cannot be looking at its adversary and also clearing the supply lines behind and coming to assistance of another state,” Bakshi said.
Doklam standoff was marked by its length and the failure of talks to resolve the dispute, raising fears of a wider escalation as the two Asian giants compete for influence. Chinese troops had advanced towards international border triggering confrontation by the Indian side. The Nathu La Pass on the border between India’s Sikkim and China-controlled Tibet, was the site of a fierce border clash between Chinese and Indian troops in 1967.
Later, India and China had decided to disengage the soldiers in the Doklam region of Sikkim sector. Soldiers of both countries were engaged in standoff since mid-June. In a statement, the MEA said, “In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam. During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests. On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is ongoing.”