The Indian Army on Wednesday said it had inflicted heavy casualties on Naga insurgents belonging to the NSCN (Khaplang) group in an encounter along the India-Myanmar border. It said its troops did not cross the international border. The operation, sources said, took place at Longkhum in the early hours of Wednesday. The firefight between Special Forces soldiers and Naga insurgents started at 4:45 am.
“In the early morning hours of 27 September, a column of Indian Army while operating along India-Myanmar border was fired upon by unidentified insurgents. Own troops reacted swiftly and brought down heavy retaliatory fire on the insurgents. The insurgents then broke contact and fled from the spot,” a statement issued by the Kolkata-based Eastern Command said. The Army rejected NSCN (K) claims of casualties among Indian soldiers. “As per inputs, a large number of casualties were suffered by the insurgents. Own troops suffered no casualties during the firefight,” the Eastern Command said.
The Indian Army underlined that its personnel did not cross into Myanmar. “It is reiterated that own troops did not cross the international border,” it said.
This was to put to rest reports that the Army had conducted a repeat of a 2015 raid into Myanmar. On June 10, 2015, the Special Forces crossed into Myanmar and targeted Naga insurgent camps. It was done six days after the NSCN (K) ambushed a convoy in Chandel district of Manipur which led to the death of 18 soldiers.
In August 2015, the Centre signed a peace accord with the dominant Naga insurgent group, the NSCN (I-M) — details of that pact have not been made public so far. A few months prior to the signing of the accord, the NSCN (K) had ended a 14-year truce with New Delhi and renewed its “war of independence”.
On June 9 this year, S S Khaplang, who led the NSCN (K), died at his operational base in Taga in Myanmar.