India reiterates status quo not altered at Doklam

New Delhi: India on Thursday dismissed as “inaccurate and mischievous” reports appearing in a section of the media about fresh Chinese troops build-up in the Doklam region on the India-China-Bhutan trijunction.

“Our attention has been drawn to some reports that question the accuracy of the position stated by the government in respect to the situation in Doklam,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries.

“It may be recalled that last year, a face-off situation that had arisen in the Doklam region was resolved following diplomatic discussions between India and China, based on which both sides arrived at an understanding for the disengagement of their border personnel at the face-off site.

“Subsequently, in response to repeated questions about any change in the status quo at the face-off site, the government had stated that there was no basis for such imputations.

“Government would once again reiterate that the status quo at the face-off site has not been altered. Any suggestion to the contrary is inaccurate and mischievous,” he said.

Reports in a section of the media, citing satellite images, suggested there has been a fresh build-up of Chinese troops in Doklam.

Last summer, Indian and Chinese troops were locked in an over two-month standoff in Doklam plateau over road construction attempts by China.

India`s objection to the road was Doklam`s proximity to its highway that connects its northeast with rest of the country. Both armies retreated from the point of face-off on August 28.

On Wednesday, Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat said at the Raisina Dialogue, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and think-tank Observer Research Foundation, that the India-China “bonhomie” before the Doklam standoff has returned, but added that one has to be prepared for anything”.