While the world was fixated over the Pulwama attack, the Balakot air strikes and its aftermath, Indian army silently took charge of disturbances emerging on another Indian border. In a welcome move, a couple of weeks after the Balakot air strike, India has launched another surgical strike, this time focusing on the North-east frontier. The strike was successful in eliminating at least a dozen camps of the insurgent threats along the Indo-Myanmar border.
India and Myanmar conducted joint operations from February 17 and March 2 to thwart the threats anticipated by Rohingya insurgent groups- Arakan Army and Naga terror group NSCN(K). The countries launched a massive crackdown destroying several camps of the terror organisations. First of their kind in terms of deployment and covering areas all along the India-Myanmar border, the operations went on for two weeks. Arakan Army is an insurgent group reportedly being raised by the Kachin Independence Army, which is designated as a terrorist group by Myanmar. It is a part of the coalition of insurgent groups called the Northern Alliance which is said to be supported by China. Whereas, NSCN (K) is Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) and a designated terror group in India.
The groups had planned attacks against India’s connectivity projects in the east like the Kaladan multi-modal project. The Kaladan Project is a transit project that will connect Kolkata to Sitwe port in Myanmar. The visionary project will not only link Mizoram but will also be a new gateway to the landlocked Northeast. The project will reduce the distance from Kolkata to Mizoram by nearly a thousand kilomteres and bring down the travel time by at least four days. Moreover, the project is also important for India’s act east policy.
In furtherance to the intelligence report received, large scale operations were conducted by the two countries. The first phase targeted newly constructed camps bordering Mizoram. Whereas, the second phase targeted the deadly Naga group, NSCN (K); their camps were destroyed up north around 1000 kms away bordering Arunachal Pradesh. The deployment for the operation included Special Forces of the Indian Army, Assam Rifles and other infantry units. Helicopters, drones and other surveillance equipment were also used during the operations to make an accurate assessment of movement of the insurgent groups and their camps.
A senior officer in the security establishment stated, “In the last two years the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) that trains the Arakan Army in the Kachin State of Myanmar adjoining China had readied around 3000 cadres that moved to the South closing in on areas adjoining the Lawngtala district of Mizoram,”
The Arakan Army is also well trained in setting up Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) making the threat to the Kaladan project and its workers even greater. “This was a serious concern both for India and Myanmar,” a source said.
A deal was cut out that after the action adjoining Mizoram, the Myanmar army will hit the insurgent camps of other groups that have been targeting India. This resulted in totally wiping out of Taga, the HQ of NSCN (K).
Amongst all the dirty politics and propaganda going on in the run up before the national elections, this nationalistic move is a welcome step through which the citizens are rejoicing. Modi government has once again proved that the fight against terror is a priority. Such terror organizations come in the way of development and leading to isolation of several regions in the country. Elimination of the terror groups not only strengthens the country externally but also unifies it internally.