Doklam standoff: Amid the conflict between Indian and Chinese forces going on for the last two months, owner of the Nima Lhamu’s cafe is not overly concerned of the standoff. The Nima Lhamu’s cafe and gift shop is located at the Laxuman Chowk in Gnathang Valley which is among the two villages which are 5 kms away from the disputed trijunction between India, China and Bhutan. Gnathang along with Kupup is just 5 km from Doka La and are expected to be the first targets of Chinese troops in case a war breaks out, according to Indian Express.
Pema Sherpa, the 30 year-old cafe owner which talking about the current situation said, “None of us is worried here. As long as it’s going fine, it’s going fine. When it won’t, we will move. Till then it’s good business.” Even in a lean tourist season, the sale at Sherpa’s cafe in the Gnathang village has increased with the increase in the number of armymen. Lhamu states that she hasn’t seen so much movement by the Army in the area all through out her life, but also believes that a war is unlikely.
The Indian Express report, quoted an army personnel saying, “They (Chinese) are borrowing and smoking our bidis. And we are enjoying their cigarettes. Why will there be a war?” While neither the army nor the villagers living at the line of fire thing that a war will take place, people have been have been asked to be ready if it happens. A labourer while talking about it said, “A Major-rank officer recently held a public gathering at Kupup and told residents of nearby villages not to panic. But he asked us to keep our passes and some clothes handy. He said China attacked India without warning last time, that is why we must stay alert.”
On June 18, nearly 350 soldiers of the Army’s battalion at Doka La moved towards the Dolam plateau in order to stop the Chinese troops from the construction of the to Jampheri ridge. The incident took place at the disputed Doklam area that is under conflic between India, China and Bhutan for the last two months.