New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the go ahead to the Indian Army for a "hot pursuit" of militants into Myanmar and in a major operation, two militant camps were completely annihilated, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said today.
Hours after the Army announced that it had engaged with militant groups in two locations and "inflicted significant casualties", Mr Rathore, a former Armyman told NDTV, "It has become a habit for these militants to strike at the Indian Army or paramilitary forces or citizens of the nation and then cross over into safe havens being confident of the fact that Indian Armed forces will not pursue them... Unprecedented though, but our Prime Minister has taken a very bold step and given a go ahead for hot pursuit into Myanmar."
When asked if there is a message that the government is trying to send to other countries like Pakistan, he said, "It is undoubtedly a message to all nations that harbour any intentions - be it the west or the specific country we went into right now. Even if there are groups within countries that harbour terror intentions, we will choose the time and the place of hitting them."
He said he was "confirming that Indian armed forces crossed over into Myanmar and carried out strikes on two of the militant camps, annihilating the entire camps and they have returned back safely."
"We were supported by the Myanmar Army," he said. "In this particular operation, not a single Indian casualty has occurred. We received information about imminent attack, so Army carried out operations," said the minister of state for Information and Broadcasting.
Mr Rathore, Olympic Silver medal winner in shooting also said, "Friendship and no tolerance of terrorism go hand in hand. Based on intelligence we will carry out our surgical strikes at our choosing."
The Army has launched major counter operations after 18 soldiers were killed in an ambush by militants in the Chandel district of Manipur on June 4.
At least 50 Militants belonging to the People's Liberation Army (PLA), United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) have reportedly been killed, among them those who were part of the Manipur ambush.