PM meets Army’s Myanmar operation team

NEW DELHI: Just like it sneaked into Myanmar on June 9 with stealth and courage to attack the hiding north-eastern insurgents, a 21 Para Special Forces’ unit of the Army entered the high security zone of Lutyen’s Delhi a couple of days ago, albeit on an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 18

Just like it sneaked into Myanmar on June 9 with stealth and courage to attack the hiding north-eastern insurgents, a 21 Para Special Forces’ unit of the Army entered the high security zone of Lutyen’s Delhi a couple of days ago, albeit on an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He met the commandoes “to pat them on their backs” and know for himself the operation in Myanmar, sources said.

On June 9, the 21 Para Special Forces’ unit had entered Myanmar and killed 60 insurgents in a surgical strike on two of their camps. The rebels, on June 4, led by the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (K) had killed 18 Army men and injured 11 jawans in an attack in Manipur.

The team comprising 45 to 50 soldiers of the 21 Para Special Forces met Modi and in attendance were senior-most officers of the Army’s Eastern Command. Photos were clicked but none made public so far. Modi spent a fair amount of time talking to the officers and men about the operations and congratulating them. For the Army, it was a first, in recent years, that the Prime Minister met an operational team. Interactions between the Prime Minister and men on the ground are largely limited to the former’s visits to border areas.

The team of commandoes goes by its colloquial name ‘waghnakh’ – ‘Tiger’s Claw’.

The 21 Para had originally been a Maratha unit of the Army, hence, it carries the Marathi colloquial name. Each of the officers and men are trained in jungle warfare and use one of the finest weapons and equipment available globally. The PM had also met a team of CRPF commandoes christened as ‘Cobra’ which had killed 12 Maoists in an encounter in Jharkhand on June 8.

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