China's official media on Tuesday denounced as “groundless” report by a Pakistani TV channel that claimed the death of 158 Indian soldiers in Chinese firing on the border in Sikkim. The reaction comes just a day after New Delhi termed the report as “utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous”. Dunya News, an Urdu-language television channel in Pakistan, reported yesterday that at least 158 Indian soldiers were killed on Monday as China fired rockets across the border in Sikkim on Indian border installations. India's External Affairs Ministry on Monday rejected the report saying that no cognisance should be taken of these reports by responsible media.
“Such reports are utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous,” MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in response to a query on reports in Pakistani media.
On Tuesday, China’s official and mainstream media denied the report, citing official sources. Chinese media outlets have carried out a series of investigations, claiming that the fake news should not be taken seriously, reported People’s Daily online.
People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of Chinese Communist Party, said that the Chinese embassy in India had noticed the report and has denounced its authenticity. The Global Times also published a report on Tuesday, calling the Pakistani media report "groundless and fake."
Chinese authorities have officially not responded to the incident yet, while the fake news article is still posted on Dunya News’ website.
Dunya news cited a two-minute video footage that was broadcasted by the China Central Television (CCTV). The video footage showed the Chinese soldiers attacking an Indian posts using rocket launchers, machine guns, and mortars.
The report came amid heightened tension between Indian and Pakistan at the border in Doklam sector. The stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam along the Bhutan-Sikkim-China tri-junction emerged after Chinese troops were stopped by the Indian Army from constructing roads in the area.