For the Myanmar operation, the Indian army was suggested to take action within 72 hours by the political leadership to liquidate the militant camps across Myanmar. Sukhoi and MIG 29 fighter jets were used to achieve it.
There were initial hitches as the first and second plan were dropped. Former was dropped due to logistical issue and latter due to the possibility of collateral damage.
But the operation was exigent as an action had to be taken against the militants who had ambushed an army convoy last week. This ambush had killed 18 army men This is the heaviest casualty that the army has witnessed in last two decades.
Onjha and Ponyu militant camps were aimed at. Onjha militant camp is on India-Myanmar border in Manipur and has different militants. The Ponyu militant camp is at a little distance from Nagaland border and was a shelter for NSCN (K) militants who were the key players in Manipur attack.
Considering the alarming situation, National Security advisor Ajit Doval and Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag headed to Manipur. While Doval cancelled his visit to Bangladesh with Prime Minister, Suhag was to visit UK. Two of them suggested surgical attack by 21 Special Forces.
The 21 Para (Special Forces) who were chosen for the action are an elite corps. They are trained for combat fighting, underwater diving, explosive handling, free falls, deprivation exercises, para jumping and others. They are trained to do all this without food and water for a long stretch. Israeli-made Tavor rifles are their main weapon.
The attack on militants which took place on Tuesday could have happened on Monday but was postponed for one day to get PM Modi’s clearance for the same.
On Tuesday, a little after midnight, 80 Special Forces troops were dropped near the border by Dhruv helicopters. From there, the troops made their way to Ponyu and Onjha camps after passing through forested region of Myanmar.
Both of the camps were smashed and the operation lasted for 45 minutes, resulting to the killing of around 150 militants.