It can be said there were enough indications that Northeast India was going to see a big terror strike soon. And it happened today.
In an ambush, 18 Indian soldiers were killed and 11 were injured in Manipur in Chandel district that shares border with Myanmar. First, a powerful blast hit the 6 Dogra Regiment of the Indian Army. Then came the barrage of grenades and bullets. It is impossible to look at the charred bodies and the overall gory scene at the ambush spot.
Spike in terror related incidents was expected after NSCN(K) broke the ceasefire agreement, that was in place for last so many years years, in March 2015. S. S. Khaplang, its chairman, who hails from Myanmar, played key role in organizing terror outfits of the reason. A meeting was held in Myanmar this April and nine terror groups united under the umbrella of ‘United National Liberation Front of West South East Asia’. Many terror groups of Northeast India call the region ‘West South East Asia’ and claim to fight the Indian government to liberate it.
Ever since NSCK(K) broke the ceasefire agreement, it has kept fuelling the anti-India stand with its terror acts. Since then, it is actively involved in ambushing and killing the Indian security forces personnel.
The terror outfit killed three and injured three others on April 2. It was in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district.
Eight personnel of Assam Rifles were killed and six others were injured on May 3. It was in Nagaland’s Mon district.
18 personnel of the Indian Army were killed and 11 others were injured on June 4. The incident took place in Manipur’s Chandel district.
The imprints are clear – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur.
Next could be Tripura which recently removed Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state after being in force for 18 years.
According to the information available from SATP, 23 security personnel were killed in the entire northeast region in 2014. This year, including today’s incident, the figure has already reached to an alarming 41 security personnel killed in terror strikes. The figure is highest since 2008 and seven months are still to go.
India is the world’s fastest growing economy now. It is among the largest economies of the world. Narendra Modi’s foreign policy has gained a positive imagery for India across the world. It is being recognized, not only for its economic advantages, but also for its strategic strengths.
But it cannot be recognized a true military power in league with the strong nations until it handles the insurgency on its own. It has strong defence capabilities. Its Army, Air Force and Navy – all are known for their respective might. Its paramilitary are considered efficient and work in some of the most hostile parts of the world.
But the country’s might cannot and should not be recognized globally until such incidents keep on happening in any part of India including its northeast states and Jammu and Kashmir.
Let’s see what happens tomorrow and thereafter in the wake on this and other similar incidents. India needs to go beyond issuing routine statements on such incidents. Tough decisions are overdue. Yes, there will be collateral damage that should strive to minimize.
We know Myanmar has training camps of many terrorist groups of the region. Its Sagaing division, where the April meeting was held, serves as their hideout and headquarter. Indian intelligence agencies routinely pass such information to the concerned establishment in India. They continuously warn of Chinese efforts to prop up terrorist outfits of the northeast region. Instability in the region is good for China and its Arunachal Pradesh claims.
We cannot be seen as a strong nation until we pressure Myanmar to remove terror groups operating in Indian territory from Myanmarese soil.
The Indian Army is engaged in combing operation of the area to flush out terrorists. The Myanmar border has been sealed.
Next morning will tell us how Narendra Modi is going to handle the biggest terrorist incident of his time as the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy that he aspires to make a strong, front league nation.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/