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While they were sleeping...

Discussion in 'International Relations' started by Bang Galore, Jun 14, 2015.

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  1. Bang Galore

    Bang Galore Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    While they were sleeping...
    Jun 13, 2015 - Gururaj A. Paniyadi

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      The Indo-Myanmar border near Teknyo village

      Subedar Raghupathi, who hails from Sullia, is home for some much-needed R&R. But what his wife Bharathi and other members of his inner circle didn’t know until he walked through the door of their home on an arecanut farm at Mandekolu village, in a remote corner of Karnataka’s Sullia, is that Raghupathi had led a team of commandos into Myanmar to lay waste to a militant camp under cover of darkness, and then as quickly hot-footed it back to the Indian side. A Myanmarese insider took them through the dense jungle and the troops of 21 Para crept up on the sleeping militants and burnt their camps to a cinder. In the first such account of the actual operation, the brave subedar tells Gururaj A. Paniyadi that there was not one moment of doubt that they would succeed.

      On the morning of June 6, Bharathi called to wish her husband Subedar Raghupathi U.M. of the 21 Para (Special Forces) on their 14th anniversary. She noticed at once that he seemed very distracted and quite unlike his usual, gregarious self. What Bharathi didn’t know was that her husband’s focus was concentrated on what would become one of the Indian Army’s most celebrated strikes – the cross-border attack into militant camps deep inside Myanmar, one that has shaken India’s neighbours, who have become accustomed to a government that always played it by the book.

      Raghupathi, who just about remembered to wish his wife on their anniversary, merely said that he was busy preparing for an ‘operation’ that he was about to set out on, which he couldn’t discuss. He also told her that he would not be available on the telephone for the next three to four days.

      It was only after his safe return that Bharathi learned the shocking truth – her husband was part of the crack team of commandos who entered Myanmar and eliminated about 50 Northeast insurgents. While Raghupathi remained a faceless, nameless operative, the operation, which drew international attention transformed India from a country known more for its passive stance into one that would no longer stand for any challenges to its sovereignty.

      Raghupathi, who hails from Mandekolu village of Sullia taluk in D.K. district, comes from a long line of fighters. Signing up to join the Maratha Regiment in 1991, he completed his Para Commando course and joined the elite 21 Para (SF) in 1996. His family lives in Sullia and his elder brother is a serving member of the CISF in Rajasthan. Both brothers were inspired by an uncle, who is serving in the Army.

      “I am proud that I was part of this prestigious operation that killed the Northeast insurgents. We were successful in killing the terrorists who had killed our jawans in Manipur few days ago. It was special as it was a cross border operation. This strike has surely increased the morale of our armed forces,” Raghupathi told this newspaper.

      Subedar Raghupathi was the squad commander during the operation, which was carried out by two teams. While one team had been pulled together from Manipur, the other team of 21 Para (SF) team with 57 commandos had gone in from Nagaland.

      “I was not hesitant or scared. This was not my first operation. I was part of several such operations including Operation Loktak. But this was really challenging as we had to walk for about 30 kms, cross the Indian border on foot and enter Myanmar without being noticed by the enemy,” he said.

      Within hours of the Chandel ambush, the army began gathering details of the enemy, with the commandos being put on alert for a possible attack on the militant’s camps. The daily gruelling drills that they normally endured were now stretched over about three days, Subedar Raghupathi said.

      As the commandos, who included both ambush and attack teams, had to ensure the operation remained under wraps, they went through the motions of joining the Assam Rifles team that left to Teknyo village on the morning of June 6, ostensibly to a medical camp.

      The real challenge began after the team left the medical camp and began marching towards the border with every commando now well aware that he had to cover about 30 kms on foot for the next two days. The commandos kept close to the Teknyo Sao rivulet to reach the target.

      The journey was not easy as they carried a bag that weighed at least 30 kg and had to cover some 30 kms of unknown terrain that was mostly thick jungle, through the night of June 8 and into the early hours of June 9, with the estimated time of attack set for of 3.30 am.

      The only food that the Special Ops team had was dry rations that would last for a maximum of three days. Apart from keeping themselves hidden from the militants, they had to thresh through dense forest, aware that any false move could attract not just enemy fire but wild animals and worst of all, leeches.

      Movement was severely restricted during the day, to avoid attracting attention. At night, the commandos moved through the darkness, crossing the forested hills and picking their way through the rivers with one eye on the time.

      A chance Myanmarese insider was to prove their best informant. After trekking almost continuously for nearly 48 hours, once the commandos crossed into Myanmar, the soldiers finally closed in on the enemy camp. It was 2.30 am on June 9. The local villager explained the tricky terrain and showed them the safest route to the enemy camp. The enemy camp was situated 3 kms inside Myanmar border. Around 3.30 am on June 9, the commandos had the the enemy camp encircled, the 15 huts in their gunsights as they opened fire. The terrorists, sleeping inside the camp had no inkling that the Indian armed forces would launch an attack deep inside the Myanmar border, said the subedar.

      The firing lasted for just about 15-20 minutes. “All the terrorists were killed and the huts destroyed by our Indian commandos,” he said. The team used the guns, rocket launchers and explosives that they had brought with them. Some of the militants who tried to fire were killed before they could pull the trigger.

      “We caught them completely by surprise. Within minutes of laying waste to the camp, we retraced our steps and embarked on the nine-km trek back on foot. The most difficult 9 kms, really. As we had walked in water for several hours, our skin was damp and we had all sustained multiple abrasions along the way, along with the small wounds caused by leeches,” the subedar said.

      “But yes, none of that seemed to matter. We had had the satisfaction of flushing out the militants who killed our brothers in Manipur,” said Raghupathi. “We are proud of of having been part of the first permitted cross-border operation.”

      Bharathi, who is happy about her husband’s participation in the operation, has no qualms in admitting her fears and concern for Raghupathi’s safety. “I am happy that he was part of this operation. But we have seen the militants attacking jawans and armed forces in the Northeast and that makes me very concerned about him. However, I never voice my fears to him aloud as he does not like me being scared. He has been part of several such operations and I am proud of him,” Bharathi said. The family has a small arecanut plantation in Mandekolu village.


      While they were sleeping... | The Asian Age
     
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  2. positron

    positron Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Suno gaur se duniya walon, buri nazar na hampe dalo,
    Agar humne nazar dali, to phir apni chaddi sambhalo.
     
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    'Those Who Fear India's New Posture Have Started Reacting': Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Myanmar Operations

    News Flash
    UP minister plays down death of journalist who was allegedly set on fire, says 'can't stop course of nature'
    'Those Who Fear India's New Posture Have Started Reacting': Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Myanmar Operations
    All India | Reported by Sudhi Ranjan Sen, Edited by Amit Chaturvedi | Updated: June 12, 2015 07:16 IST
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    New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday morning that the Indian Army's operation to neutralise two camps of militants on Tuesday has led to a "change in mindset."

    "Change requires a change in mindset. A simple action against insurgents has changed the mindset of the security scenario of the country," said the Defence Minister.

    Mr Parrikar also said, "Those who fear India's new posture have started reacting," in what is seen as a reference to a Pakistani minister warning on Wednesday that "Pakistan is not like Myanmar."

    Related
    [​IMG]Pakistan's Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan's statement was in response to Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore's remarks in an interview that India's military action in Myanmar to hit back at militants who killed 18 soldiers in Manipur was a message to other countries.

    To a specific question on whether he meant dealing with cross border terrorism from Pakistan, Mr Rathore had said, "It is undoubtedly a message to all nations that harbour any intentions - be it the west or the specific country we went into right now."

    Today, Mr Parrikar refused to go into details of Tuesday's operations, in which the Indian Army liquidated two camps of militants inside Myanmar territory in a 45-minute surgical strike carried out by a team of the elite 21 Para (Special Forces).

    He also refused to comment on a Myanmar official denying that the Indian army carried out its ops inside its territory. The Myanmar government has made contradictory statements in the last two days about the operation.

    Zaw Htay, director of the office of Myanmar President Thein Sein, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as confirming the Indian operation in his country. "He said that there was 'coordination and cooperation' between the Indian troops and Myanmar's armed forces based in the area of the raids, but added that no Myanmar soldiers were directly involved," Wall Street Journal reported.

    In a Facebook post, also on Wednesday, Zaw Htay, however said, "According to the information sent by Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) battalions on the ground, we have learned that the military operation was performed on the Indian side at India-Myanmar border."
    Story First Published: June 11, 2015 11:11 IST
     
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