Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is on a visit to the state of Sikkim, on Sunday had an interesting interaction with Chinese soldiers at Nathu La border. The defence minister taught these soldiers the meaning of Indian greeting ‘namaste’ during her visit and also the procedure to do it. The entire interaction was caught on video and was tweeted from the official handle of Raksha Mantri. Sitharaman is on a visit to Nathu La area on the Sino-India border and interacted with Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police officials.
Earlier, her scheduled aerial survey of Doklam and forward posts in the border areas of Sikkim was cancelled due to inclement weather. As per a PTI report, the defence minister made an aerial survey of the Doklam-Nathu La area. Sitharaman, on a day’s visit to Sikkim, reportedly reached Nathu La, 52 km from Gangtok, and interacted with Army and ITBP officials posted there.
The defence minister was accorded a guard of honor on her arrival at Nathu La. Sitharaman was also briefed about the security preparedness along the China-India border in the Sikkim sector by the Chief of Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna. Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Sarath Chandra was also present there.
Sitharaman’s interaction with Chinese soldiers and her visit to the border area comes a month after Indian and Chinese troops disengaged after nearly a 70-day standoff at Doklam. Taking to Twitter, Sitharaman said Chinese soldiers from across the border took pictures of hers when she reached Nathu La.
“Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La,” she tweeted. PTI reported that the Defence Minister also met Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at his official residence and sought the state government’s intervention in sorting out issues, mostly concerning land, between the Army and the state’s forest department.