The Indian Army chief for the first time confirmed that troops had crossed over to Myanmar two years ago. At a book launch on Friday, General Bipin Rawat gave details on the Indian Army’s cross-border raid against Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland rebels in Myanmar in 2015, which is being viewed as “a cause for concern”, home ministry and external affairs ministry officials told The Hindu.
Both ministries are unhappy with the Chief of Army Staff’s comments on the operations in Myanmar that year, unidentified officials said.
“The Army chief should have been mindful of the realities in Myanmar and our efforts there,” The Hindu quoted a senior official as saying. “Such detailed discussions on the operations wouldn’t help the situation at all.”
Neither ministry has made an official comment on the subject.
At a book release in Pune, Rawat said the Indian Army had inflicted “heavy losses” on the militant camps. He added that more such “surgical strikes” might be undertaken “if required”.
More than 18 militants were killed after the Army’s special forces conducted at least two anti-insurgent operations. A senior Army official had said that those killed in the mission included Naga militants, who had killed 18 soldiers after ambushing their convoy in Manipur a week earlier.
Rawat made the comments at a time when the Centre is trying to get Myanmar’s support to control cross-border movement of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland rebels and Rohingya refugees. A senior official said the diplomatic concerns had been conveyed to Rawat.
In October 2016, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the two issued a joint statement underlining “their mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity”.