After China said that there was no room for compromise when it came to the Doklam standoff and reports stating that Beijing is gearing up for a "small-scale military operation" to oust Indian soldiers from the border in Doklam made news, it is now being said that India has ordered the evacuation of villages in the border region.
China's People's Daily, on Thursday, said that the Indian Army was evacuating the residents from the Nathang village in East Sikkim, which is just 35 km from Doklam. "Indian troops on Thu orders evacuation of Nathang village, near site of two-month standoff between #Chinese and #Indian armies," the newspaper tweeted.
Later, the same was also reported by the Indian media, which said that the residents had been asked to vacate their houses immediately. It isn't known if the village was being vacated to make room for the thousands of 33 Corp troops or if this was a way to avoid civilian casualties in case of a military operation, reported News 18.
However, the Indian Army has denied these reports and said that the Nathang village hasn't been evacuated and the army has no such plans for now. "No village has been evacuated. Neither does the Army propose to get any evacuated," the Times of India quoted a source as saying.
It was reported in July that the Chinese Army has moved tonnes of military hardware towards the Line of Actual Control. Even though India denied that the People's Liberation Army had carried out such activities at the border, it was questioned why India is yet to shift the artillery guns to the region even though the Doklam standoff seems unlikely to end anytime soon.
The source noted that the Indian Army is prepared for any emergency and "continues to maintain high operational readiness."
"Our troops are entrenched in the Sikkim trijunction area. It makes more sense for the PLA to create mischief in some other sector," the source added. "With China being belligerent, Indian Army has taken counter-measures as precautions."
On August 5, the Global Times had said that China will not let the Doklam standoff go on for too long and could take up a "small military operation" within two weeks.
"There is no way China will tolerate the Indian troops' incursion into Chinese territory for too long. If India refuses to withdraw, China may conduct a small-scale military operation within two weeks," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, had told the daily.
Getting more and more aggressive each day, People's Liberation Analysts had also said that Beijing will not "compromise" when it comes to ending the standoff and that India has "misjudged" China's resolve by deploying troops in the region.
Speaking to the media, China once again said that India should not have concerns with what activities the country carries out within its territories and noted that the Chinese citizens, as well as the army, are "angry" over India's "dangerous" move.
"China so far has not used the word 'invasion'. We have only used words like 'trespass' or 'incursion' and that is the goodwill of China," the Press Trust of India quoted Senior Colonel Zhou Bo as saying.
China once again brought up the Kashmir issue and said India would not react positively if Beijing would enter Kashmir on behalf of Pakistan, which would be similar to India entering Doklam on behalf of Bhutan. "Pakistan is a friend of China. If China crosses the Indian border or the India-China border on behalf of Pakistan I don't know how you will react to that," Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhou, director at the Centre on China-America Defense Relations of the Academy of Military Science said.