On 9 June 2015, the Indian army conducted a “surgical strike” on militant outfits in Myanmar, in retaliation to an attack in Manipur that had killed 18 personnel from the army. As the debate around this cross-border ambush by the military gathers steam, another operation against insurgent organisations is underway near the Bhutan border in Assam.
According to an official from the intelligence, a group comprising the Indian army, the Assam police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is currently engaged in flushing out Bodo militants from the Manas National Park in Chirang, which is located about 120 kilometres west of Guwahati, and is close to the international border. The rebels that are being targeted through this operation belong to the anti-talks faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), a rebel outfit from Assam that has camps in Myanmar.
The official told me that the strike had started close to four days ago, and that the operation was being conducted on the Indian side of the park. He reiterated that strict instructions had been issued to the troops and their commanders to not cross over to the other side in Bhutan. The official admitted to me, however, that this meant that there was a strong possibility that the rebels may have used the opportunity to sneak over to the other side to avoid being trapped and killed.