Myanmar helped Indian Army play avenger

news
10 June 2015

Thanks to Myanmar, India could retaliate to at least one of the innumerable cross-border attacks that the country and its army had to face ever since Independence.

 

The Indian armed forces could strike across the border thanks to an obliging government in Myanmar.

While the planning was meticulous and the operation precise, such ''hot pursuit'' of terrorists may be difficult elsewhere because of problems of logistics and tactical support.  

Minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore  who quoted intelligence reports said, ''there were two camps preparing another strike on India'' - both geographically distant from each other. ''Both camps were struck and were completely annihilated. The special forces returned without a single casualty,'' he said.

Rathore, who retired as a Colonel in the Indian Army, shot into prominence as an ace marksman, who bagged two silvers for India in the Men's Double Trap at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

He said while India wants a friendly neighbourhood and is committed towards mutual development, it has zero tolerance towards terror.

''We will not tolerate any strikes on India or Indians. We'll always wield the initiative on either being friendly or engaging in aggressive action. We will strike at a place and at a time of our choosing.''

The acknowledgement that India's special forces entered Myanmar for a surgical strike, in retaliation for a militant ambush that killed 18 soldiers in Manipur, by Rathore is proof enough that the strike was carried out with support of Myanmar.

Credit also goes to National Security Advisor Advisor Ajit Doval and the Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh for the meticulous planning that allowed Indian troops to pull off a daring raid against northeastern militant groups based within Myanmar.

Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh cancelled a visit to Britain and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval decided against accompanying the Prime Minister on his trip to Bangladesh, in order to plan the cross-border assault over the past few days.

Detailed plans were drawn up for the assault by troops of the elite 21 Para (Special Force) Regiment. The troops were air dropped by ALH helicopters with IAF helicopter gunships providing aerial support.

Reports suggest that 22 to 50 militants might have been killed when the Special Forces hit two militant camps. Several more were believed to have been injured. The Indian Army said in a statement that it had ''inflicted significant casualties'' among the militants.

The Indian Army's statement said there was a ''history of close cooperation between'' the militaries of India and Myanmar. In April-May 1995, the two countries had carried out Operation Golden Bird, a joint campaign to intercept a group of NSCN, ULFA and Manipuri militants that was transporting a large consignment of weapons from Wyakaung beach on the Myanmar-Bangladesh coast to Mizoram.

That operation resulted in the killing of 38 militants and the capture of 118 more and the seizure of more than 100 weapons and a huge quantity of ammunition.

But the Myanmarese military ended its support for the joint operation when India awarded the Nehru Peace Prize to opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi. But, things have changed since then.

Indian and Myanmarese officials had, in late 2010, decided at a meeting in Mizoram that Indian security forces could enter Myanmar to hunt terrorists after taking permission from local army post commander in Myanmar.





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