The Indian Army has reportedly ordered the evacuation of a village close to India-Bhutan-China tri-junction near Doklam, media reports said Thursday.
According to these reports, the Indian Army has asked villagers living in Nathang village to immediately vacate their houses.
Nathang is just 35 km from Doklam -the site of the two-month old stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops.
However, it is still not clear if the order had been issued to accommodate thousands of Indian soldiers belonging to the 33 Corp who have been asked to move towards Doklam from Sukna.
The move is also being seen as a precautionary measure by the Indian Army to avoid civilian casualties in case of a skirmish.
The move holds significance in the wake of repeated threats from China over the ownership of Doklam.
A state-controlled Chinese daily had on August 9 warned that the countdown to war has begun and India should come to its senses and withdraw troops from Dokalam.
China has also reportedly deployed more troops to the stand-off zone in Sikkim’s Dokalam.
A fresh editorial in the Global Times, titled New Delhi should come to its senses while it has time, went on to state that the window to peacefully resolve the stand-off in Doklam was closing as the row enters its seventh week.
“The countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun, and the clock is ticking away the time to what seems to be an inevitable conclusion.”
This is just one of the several vitriolic articles that have appeared in Chinese news agency Xinhua and their newspaper Global Times, in recent past.
The face-off between Indian and Chinese troops though is two months old now.
It started in mid-June in Doklam tri-junction when Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area. China building a road on that site, India feared, would allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its north-eastern states.
China, however, claims that it was constructing the road within its own territory.
Since the stand-off, India has constantly batted for a dialogue but China has demanded immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Indian troops before a dialogue or peace process is initiated.