Army chief on 2015 operation in Myanmar: ‘We had to send a message across’

The Army chief also revealed that the operation was delayed by four days.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | Updated: December 2, 2017 7:44 am
Army chief General Bipin Rawat “A battalion deployed along the Myanmar-Manipur border was in the process of de-inducting. So, after some earlier dispatch of baggage, some leftover things were being sent and a convoy was ambushed… 18 brave soldiers were martyred,” recalled the Army chief.

Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Friday shared some interesting insights about the behind-the-scene activities in the days before the cross-border anti-insurgency operation in Myanmar in 2015.  At an event in Pune, General Rawat, who was then General Officer Commanding of the Dimapur-based 3 Corps of the Indian Army, said, “We had had some setbacks in that sector. Preceding the operation, we had a major ambush by… insurgents who were operating from Myanmar.  A battalion deployed along the Myanmar-Manipur border was in the process of de-inducting. So, after some earlier dispatch of baggage, some leftover things were being sent and a convoy was ambushed… 18 brave soldiers were martyred. A message had be sent across. There was no other option but to plan the operation across the border… we had information that the insurgents had crossed over again.”

The Army chief also revealed that the operation was delayed by four days. “So, we planned the operation. Just when it was about to be launched, I got a call from Delhi, saying ‘we need to do something’. The then Army chief spoke to me and I also got a call from the NSA, asking if I had something in mind. I was taken aback as the troops were already on their way.

So, I told them that the operation was in progress, and they will strike in the next 48 hours. But then they (Delhi) said they wanted to know what the operation was. So we got the whole team back, and the officer who was leading the operation conducted a briefing… after a delay of four days, the operation was launched. We had to completely change the route and then strike.”

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