Army hits ultras on Myanmar border
■ Heavy casualties on NSCN(K) rebels in the fighting that started in the early hours.
The Army has inflicted heavy casualties on NSCN(K) militants in an operation close to the Myanmar border on Wednesday morning, the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Command has said.
“In the early hours of 27 September, a column of the Army, while operating along the India-Myanmar border, was fired upon by unidentified insurgents,” it said in an official statement.
■ No casualty: Army
In its tweet, the Command identified the insurgents as members of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K), the key rebel group that had pulled out of the 14-year-old ceasefire in March 2015 and has been on the warpath with security agencies ever since.
The Command also said the Army did not suffer any casualty.
It said the firefight started around 4.45 a.m. when an Army patrol team was fired upon. “Own troops retaliated swiftly and brought down heavy retaliatory fire on the insurgents,” the Army said. Army sources said 10-12 teams followed the inputs from the initial contact, and carried out the operation in Mon district of Nagaland.
■ Confined to border
The Army emphasised that the operation was limited to the Indian border. “It is reiterated that our troops did not cross the international border.”
This was in clear contrast to the June 2015 operation, when the Indian troops crossed over to Myanmar to carry out a surgical strike against NSCN(K) militants, a few days after 18 soldiers were killed by the group in Chandel district of Manipur.
In recent times, the Indian troops have stepped up operations against the NSCN(K), which operates mostly out of Myanmar. The faction, led by S.S. Khaplang, called off its 14-year-old ceasefire with New Delhi in March 2015. In August 2015, the Narendra Modi government announced a peace deal with the other major Naga group, NSCN(I-M).
The Army did not specify the number of insurgents killed or injured in the attack. Responding to a question at a Cabinet briefing about the incident, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “There are no two opinions that Myanmar is a friendly country. Whatever information we get, we will share it with you.”