Cross-bor­der mil­i­tary raid in Myan­mar

SP's MAI - - MILITARY VIEWPOINTS - — By Lt Gen­eral V. K. Kapoor (Retd)

Thurs­day, June 4, 2015, wit­nessed one of the big­gest mil­i­tant at­tacks on the Army in re­cent years. At least 18 sol­diers were killed and another 11 in­jured when they were am­bushed in the Moltuk val­ley of Chandel dis­trict in Ma­nipur. The sol­diers be­longed to 6 Dogra, a bat­tal­ion of the Dogra Reg­i­ment of the In­dian Army. They were mov­ing from their base in Moltuk to­wards Pal­lel when their con­voy was am­bushed at around 8 a.m., ac­cord­ing to Army and Ma­nipur Po­lice sources. The at­tack­ers used rocket-pro­pelled grenades and heavy au­to­matic weapons. Two trucks caught fire and were com­pletely gut­ted, burn­ing alive the sol­diers who were trapped in­side.

The at­tack shocked the na­tion, the gov­ern­ment and the Army. It was an au­da­cious at­tack which seemed to have caught the Army off guard. Re­tal­i­a­tion from the Army was ex­pected. The cross-bor­der raid was fi­nally launched in Myan­mar ter­ri­tory on June 9, 2015, by In­dian Spe­cial Forces. Myan­mar ter­ri­tory across the bor­der is where the North­east mil­i­tants take shel­ter af­ter at­tack­ing se­cu­rity forces along Indo-Myan­mar bor­der. Such re­tal­ia­tory oper­a­tions have taken place ear­lier too but with­out the post-op­er­a­tion hype that fol­lowed the raid this time by the Army. The hype this time was more po­lit­i­cally bi­ased. The rea­sons are not far to see. The BJP Gov­ern­ment is por­trayed as a na­tion­al­is­tic gov­ern­ment who is ex­pected to be more care­ful and macho about na­tional se­cu­rity and there­fore this mil­i­tant at­tack was an af­front to their self-pro­fessed im­age which seemed to have been hurt by this bold ac­tion by the mil­i­tants. So the gov­ern­ment it­self was keen to be seen as tak­ing a strong counter to the at­tack on the mil­i­tary. The broad aims of the op­er­a­tion can be sum­marised as un­der: Cause max­i­mum dam­age to the mil­i­tant bases in Myan­mar ter­ri­tory from where such at­tacks could em­anate. Raise morale of the Army by re­sort­ing to a bold and dar­ing ac­tion. Send a strong mes­sage do­mes­ti­cally and in the neigh­bour­hood that the present po­lit­i­cal dis­pen­sa­tion would not per­mit any such ac­tions in In­dian ter­ri­tory and should they take place they would have no hes­i­ta­tion in re­tal­i­at­ing ap­pro­pri­ately. While the op­er­a­tion was con­ducted boldly and with pre­ci­sion, and was in­deed lauded by all, and even the post-op­er­a­tion state­ment by the mil­i­tary was con­sid­ered mea­sured and ap­pro­pri­ate, the gov­ern­ment’s post-event han­dling of the strike on mil­i­tant camps in Myan­mar has come un­der crit­i­cism from a large num­ber of peo­ple in­clud­ing the mil­i­tary com­mu­nity. The view that has emerged is that the hype by po­lit­i­cal lead­ers was ex­ces­sive and the chest thump­ing by min­is­ters want­ing to gain po­lit­i­cal mileage was un­nec­es­sary and could jeop­ar­dize fu­ture such oper­a­tions and ruin the ex­ist­ing friendly re­la­tion­ship with the Myan­mar Gov­ern­ment and the mil­i­tary. It is for this rea­son that In­dia is send­ing its Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor to Myan­mar to calm tem­pers and as­suage the ill feel­ings of Myan­mar po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary hi­er­ar­chy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.