ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Army's Transborder Raid in Myanmar

Interrogating the Claims

Some reasonably astounding claims have been made about the commando raid carried out by the Indian Army on rebel camps in Myanmar. A long-time observer of the region and military operations there separates the chaff to prise out the possible grain of truth.

This article was earlier posted on the Web Exclusives section of EPW website.

Reporting the Indian transborder strike in Myanmar, a top news- paper headline said “Soldiers Crawled to Targets, Finished Operations in 45 Minutes.” That is where the tale hangs, on what has been projected as a bold move of the Modi government, a fitting riposte to the 4 June ambush by insurgents in Manipur that left 18 soldiers dead. The army’s Additional Director General of Military Operations, Major General Ranvir Singh, claimed the operations were along the India–Myanmar border and “significant casualties” were inflicted on the militants.

However, subsequent reporting, driven by the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s claims of “strikes deep inside Myanmar,” has run riot on casualty figures, locations and assumptions; of this last, the most worrying is that such attacks can be repeated in Pakistan. It has been claimed that Indian military helicopters did not cross the international border but dropped the troops on the border and left them to trek and crawl into the rebel camps for a surprise attack. It has also been claimed that the whole operation was over in 45 minutes.

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