India’s first full time female Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman visited Nathu La area near India-China border on Saturday. During her visit to the Nathu La area, Nirmala Sitharaman interacted with Indian Army soldiers and also had a discussion with Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP). Apart from the meetings with security personnel, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also acknowledged the unexpected row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence, who were clicking pictures.

Upon her arrival at the Nathu La despite harsh climate, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was accorded with a Guard of Honor. Following this, Niramala Sitharaman, interacted with the Vice Chief of Army Staff and other senior Army officials at the BPM Hut at Nathu La. She also offered sweets to all the officers present.

Taking to her Twitter handle, Nirmala Sitharaman also shared a snippet of an interaction with Chinese soldiers at the border at Nathu-la in Sikkim. In the video, she is seen interacting with the Chinese soldiers, getting to know them and also greeted them saying ‘namaste’. The Chinese soldiers also seemed quite happy seeing the Indian Defence Minister interacting with them. During her visit she also interacted with Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Chamling.

The Defence Minister’s visit to Nathu La comes amid reports of presence of PLA troops in large numbers close to Doklam, where both Indian and Chinese soldiers were recently engaged in a faceoff. She was also briefed on security preparedness along the Indo-China border in the Sikkim sector. Due to bad weather, the minister had to cancel an aerial survey of the Doklam. The Doklam area had been in the headlines, after militaries of India and China were in an indefinite standoff. The stand-off went on for more that 70 days.

Recently, many media reports suggested that the Indian soldiers still remain on high alert at Doklam area. Reports suggested that China is now upgrading its existing road in the Bhutanese territory of Doklam. The reports also claimed that the new construction by the Chinese militaries is taking place around 10-Km from the original stand-off. However, India has not shown any objection to the act yet.

First Published | 8 October 2017 1:32 PM
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