View of Myanmar Government
1. Myanmar “deeply resented” the Narendra Modi government boasting in June last year that Indian troops had entered its territory in hot pursuit of secessionists in Manipur and Nagaland, a government official said on condition of anonymity.
2. The Myanmar Army (known as Tatmadaw) was of the view a group photo of Indian soldiers said to have been taken inside Myanmar had flora and fauna in the background that did not match with those in areas bordering Manipur.
An editor of a newspaper said the Myanmar government conveyed the same opinion to his publication. The then President Thein Sein’s office cryptically commented “we have learnt that the military operation was performed on the Indian side of the border”.
3. Cross-border operations were not unknown under previous government in Delhi, but not advertised in order to avoid embarrassing Myanmar.
In the episode concerned, the Indian Army suffered a heavy ambush by armed separatists in Manipur. At least 18 soldiers were killed, following which the rebels fled to neighbouring Myanmar. A few days later, Indian parachute commandos in helicopters reportedly carried out a cross border raid, in course of which, the Defence Ministry maintained, around 40 rebels were taken out.
There is a consensus that Indian jawans did enter Myanmar. What local inhabitants doubt, though, is the amount of damage inflicted by them. Nearby villagers told rights activists that there was heavy bombardment and the rebel camps were destroyed, but there was “no evidence of significant casualties”.