By Oken Jeet Sandham
I have never come across such massive news coverage in print and electronic media nationally and internationally of the ambuscade on the Indian Army convoy by the combined team of NSCN (K), KYKL and KCP in Manipur’s Chandel district bordering Myanmar. 18 soldiers were killed while 11 left injured in the ambush.
The post-ambush news coming in is more interesting. It is even more interesting after Indian Army started operation and surgical precisions from Mi-35 attack helicopters of the Indian Air Force against the militants by even entering into Myanmar’s air space. Soon after this mission, several conflicting news came in TV Channels….Indian Army after crossing international border could launch surgical strikes and destroy militant camps and killed 100 militants inside Myanmar…sometimes, news came in as 40 militants killed… sometimes 20 militants killed who were believed to be responsible for the deadly ambush on Indian army in Chandel. The highly controversial Indian army commando team’s victorious picture with their chopper after their mission in Myanmar went viral in Social Media and it has extensively damaged the image and integrity of the Indian Army.
In spite of all these doubtful supply of news materials to the media, the media, particularly based in Manipur, have been maintaining their professionalism. In fact, release issued by Defense Wing did not mention figures of any casualty. The media in Manipur acted professionally in covering the Army operations.
Now Myanmar authority denied Indian army entering into their territory and killed the militants involved in Chandel ambush. Their denial is as important as Indian army’s claim of entering into their territory to the media people. However, Indian army’s image and integrity is badly dented more by the controversial victorious picture. Anyhow, finally they said they recovered seven dead bodies of the militants.
Why had all these unwanted things suddenly happened? It is because of the Center’s failure to keep the NSCN (K) in the loop. The outfit has been in truce with them since 2001. In fact, they would not have abrogated the truce if the news of Center’s reluctance of extending the ongoing ceasefire with them did not come in mass media. Having ceasefire with them for 14 years is a very costly affairs and every effort should be made to keep them in the loop. Had the Government of India asked them to prepare “Charter of Demands” for starting at least some preliminary talks? The outfit entering ceasefire with Myanmar Government is in fact a blessing in disguise for India for the fact that the burden would be lesser on them. After all these 14 long years of truce, a news item doing the round of not extending the ongoing truce with them was actually an humiliation, besides making them mockery in the eyes of the world.
Expectedly, soon after the abrogation of the ceasefire, they started attacking on the Assam Rifles in Nagaland’s state capital, Kohima and even in Arunachal Pradesh. Their desperation was high after Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju’s remark that NSCN (K) had got nothing to do with the Naga issue.
All these careless remark gave them to commit to any audacious attack on Indian army. This was expected and one wonders why Indian intelligence did not have such thinking. What is our Intelligence quality? NIA’s role in this became more questionable after wrongly naming high profile functionaries of another outfit as NSCN (K)’s masterminding the deadly ambush. They later clarified. How poor Intelligence input and system they have and this can put many innocent persons’ lives into danger during such volatile situation. With this level of intelligence of our Agencies, the doubts on varied news items after Indian army attacks on militant camps by entering into Myanmar territory will be proven otherwise.
If one studies the whole events very carefully, the Center seems not knowing the historical backgrounds of the Northeast people. And unless they try to know this, to start for finding solution to any issue is not even thinkable.
The country needs professionals.