Days after 18 soldiers of the Indian Army were killed in Manipur’s Chandel valley by suspected militants of the NSCN-K, representatives of rival faction NSCN (Isaac Muivah) reportedly offered its services to the government to attack the Northeast militant group, led by SS Khaplang.
Leaders of the NSCN (IM), which had earlier agreed to a ceasefire pact with India for an indefinite period, reportedly met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on June 8. During the meeting, representatives of the militant group proposed that they be used as an “alternative force” against Khaplang’s group, said sources.
The government has declined the offer, as the decision to accept it could have had “disastrous” consequences, said sources.
“We cannot be entering into an agreement with a particular group to use them militarily against another outfit. It would be disastrous for internal security policy. They came up with a proposal to use their might and control entry and exit points in border areas so that they can restrict the movement of Khaplang’s group. It was not acceptable,” said a senior government official.
On June 9, special forces of the Indian Army had carried out cross-border strikes on three militant camps in Myanmar, targetting members of the NSCN-K.
The special forces had zeroed in on the three camps — one at Onzia and two at Ponyo — as a large number of insurgents were believed to be hiding there and the camps were accessible due to the relatively favourable terrain, said the official.
“The government also thought about using one of the special teams of the paramilitary forces for last week’s operation. The government was ready with a plan to strike within 72 hours of the ambush in Chandel valley. The operation was delayed by a day due to a change in the plan of action at the last minute. We also wanted to bring in the Air Force, but shelved the idea due to the possibility of large-scale collateral damage,” said the official.