NEW DELHI, Sept. 27: The Indian Army on Wednesday inflicted “heavy casualties” on NSCN(K) cadre during an operation along the India-Myanmar border, the Eastern Command said. The exchange of fire reportedly took place at around 4.45 am. “Indian security forces” suffered no casualties, a statement by the Army said. “Heavy casualties reportedly inflicted on NSCN(K) cadre. No casualties suffered by Indian Security Forces,” the Eastern Command said on Twitter.
“In the early morning hours of September 27, a column of Indian Army while operating along Indo-Myanmar border was fired upon by unidentified insurgents. Own troops reacted swiftly and brought down heavy retaliatory fire on the insurgents. The insurgents than broke contact and fled from the spot. As per inputs a large number of casualties were suffered by the insurgents. Own troops suffered no casualties during the fire fight.
It is reiterated that own troops did not cross the international border.”
Indian Army sources maintained that it was “not a surgical strike”. The Eastern Command also tweeted, “Reports of casualties to #IndianArmy personnel factually incorrect. Firefight occurred along Indo-Myanmar border at 0445 hrs today @adgpi.”
Responding to a question on the incident at a cabinet briefing, Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh said, “There are no two opinions that Myanmar is a friendly country. Whatever information we get, we will inform you about it.”
However, a Facebook post by one Isak Sumi, who is on the ‘Most Wanted List’ of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), said the encounter occurred on the outskirt of Langkhu village located inside Myanmar occupied Naga area, 10-15 km away from Indo-Myanmar border.
“The encounter started around 3 AM when the elite unit of the Naga Army detected a column of Indian Army approaching their temporary make shift camp in the outskirt of Langkhu village located inside Myanmar occupied Naga area, 10-15 kms away from Indo-Myanmar border. The exchange was continuing till the time of filing this report,” said Sumi, who is referred to as the PRO of the NSCN by the NIA on its website updated last year.
He claimed that “three Indian soldiers were killed and an unconfirmed number injured but there was no casualty or injury on the Naga Army”. His post states that he is currently based in Yangon in Myanmar and his social media records as also the details on the NIA website state that he belongs to Zunheboto district in Nagaland.
In June 2015, the Army had conducted a similar operation against banned insurgent groups following the killing of 20 soldiers in Manipur. TIE With PTI inputs