At least 15 to 20 Indian soldiers were involved in hand-to-hand fighting at a high altitude picket in north Sikkim at an altitude of more than 16,000 feet yesterday. There are reports that there may also have been stone pelting between the forces. India and China have differing views on the alignment of the Line of Actual Control in the region. The entire incident has been captured on video by the Indian Army's soldiers.
In a statement, the army said, "Aggressive behaviour by the two sides resulted in minor injuries to troops. The two sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at local level".
"Temporary and short duration faceoffs between border guarding troops do occur as boundaries are not resolved. Incident of face off as referred to in the article did take place. Troops resolve such issues mutually as per established protocols," the statement read.
The last time something similar happened was in August 2017, when Indian and Chinese soldiers came to blows on the Eastern Bank of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh.
The 73-day stand-off with China also took place that year over Doklam plateau, an area claimed by China and India's ally Bhutan.
In 2018, at an informal summit at Wuhan between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping threw up new guidelines for the military of both nations as part of moving beyond Doklam and "maintaining peace and tranquility" on border areas.
On the ground, it would involve avoidance of "aggressive patrolling" along the border, army sources told NDTV.
Maintaining peace at the border is essential for growth in bilateral ties, agreed India and China and to that end, both nations agreed to de-escalate tensions at the border.