Centre vows to eliminate ultras

Centre vows to eliminate ultras

Shaken by the biggest casualty for the Army in a single day in 16 years, the Centre on Thursday ordered an all-out offensive to “trace and eliminate” the insurgents involved in the killing of 20 defence personnel.

With the possibility of the insurgents sneaking into Myanmar, the security forces have also been asked to seal the Indo-Burmese border along Manipur.  The decision came after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had a meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condemned the incident as “mindless attack” and “very distressing” and he was bowing to “each and every soldier who has sacrificed his life for the nation”.

Parrikar assured that those who committed the “cowardly act” will be brought to book and Army would continue to work towards bringing peace and normalcy to Manipur.

The incident has shaken and perplexed the security establishment as they are yet to ascertain the identity of the group which carried out the dastardly attack. While Manipur Home Secretary J Suresh Babu said it could be the work of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the support of Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup(KYKL), the Army believes that KYKL is behind the attack. Some others suspect that NSCN (Khaplang) is behind the attack as the group had stepped up its activities following non-renewal of ceasefire agreement with New Delhi. For the government and Army, the attack has come as a worse reminder on its preparedness. This is the biggest casualty on a single day for the Army since the Kargil War of 1999. On June 28, 2003, a fidayeen attack had claimed 12 personnel of Dogra regiment unit in Jammu.

Sources said the insurgents used landmines, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons in the attack.

It is suspected that the Army personnel of the 6 Dogra regiment had lowered guard while they were moving out of the area and being replaced by another team.

“It is surprising that the Army suffered such a huge casualty. It means that there was something wrong. They might have taken it easy and become sitting ducks like paramilitary personnel in some naxal affected areas,” a senior official said.

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