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TheIndianPeacekeepingForces(IPKF) arrivedinSriLanka

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The Indian Peace keeping Forces arrived Sri Lanka

CopyrightBHARATRAKSHAK IndoSriLankaaccordwassignedinSriLankaon29July1987.Thiswastobeupheldby anIndianPeaceKeepingForce(IPKF).Thefirstphaseenvisionedthesupervisionofthe surrenderofarmsbythevariousmilitantgroups.Soonsome24AN12sandAN32sflew intoPalalycarryingtwoIndianArmybattalionsconstitutingtheIPKF. OnJuly30th,LieutenantGeneralDepinderSingh,theIndianArmy'sGOCinCSouthern CommandflewintoJaffnatodiscussarrangementswiththeSriLankanforces.Thenext fewdayssawthebulkofaninfantrybrigadecomprisingtheSikhLightInfantry,theMaratha LightInfantry,theMaharRegimentplussupportingelementshadlandedinnorthernSri Lanka.ByAugust,the54thInfantryDivisionunderthecommandofMajGenHarkiratSingh andthe340thIndianInfBdehadlandedinSriLanka. Theinitialphaseoftheagreementcalledforthedisarmamentofthevariousmilitant groupsfollowedbytheformationoftheInterimAdministrativeCouncil.Thiswastohave proportionaterepresentationfromvariousgroupsbuttheLTTEwantedtodominateit.Part ofthisfascistoutlookwasthemassacreofpoliticalrivalsandSinhalesegroups.Agroup ofcapturedLTTEmilitantscommittedsuicideinthecustodyoftheSriLankanArmy.These gavetheLTTEtheexcuseitwanted. ApoliticaldecisionwastakentodisarmtheLTTEifnecessarybyforce.Meanwhileon October8th,theLTTEcarriedoutmortarandmachinegunattacksonIPKFpatrols. FollowingahighlevelDefenceMinistrymeetingonOctober10th,theIPKFcommencedits operations,codenamed'Pawan'onthenightof11/12October1987. TherulesofengagementforthisoperationwerestrictandonceagaintiedtheIndian Army'shands.Useofartillery,heavyweaponryandoffensiveairsupportwasforbiddento minimiseciviliancasualtyanddamagetoproperty.TheIndianArmy'splanwastocripple theLTTEguerrillanetworkbycapturingitsheadquartersinJaffnaCity,atasktheSri LankanArmyhadtriedthisformanyyearsbuthadnotsucceeded.Pushedbythe political/bureaucraticestablishmenttheArmymadeahastyplan.Howeverithadonly91st BrigadeunderBrigadierJ.Ralliconsistingofonlythreebattalions.Onewasatthefront, oneatpointPedroandonewestofPalaly. Furthermoreeachbattalionwasstaffedtoonly50%andhadnoneofitsheavyweapons astheyhadnotbeenexpectingafight.TheIPKFpushintothecitywascontestedbythe LTTEateverynookandcorner.Ithadtofightagainstheavilyarmedguerrilla,inaheavily builtupanddenselypopulatedurbanareaalreadyfortifiedandextensivelyminedduring thethreeyearsofwarwiththeSriLankanArmy. Bothsidestookheavycasualties.Furthermorealltheapproachroadswerepittedwith Claymoreminesorhugedrumsfilledwithexplosives,buriedintheground.Thewhole areawasfloodedwithIEDs(ImprovisedExplosiveDevices)whichcouldbedetonatedby remoteorradiocontrolfromoverakilometreaway.Onesuchexplosionkilled29IPKF personnel.Theattacktookplacealongfiveaxistothecity. JaffnaUniversity(JU)wasthetacticalheadquartersoftheLTTE.TheIndianmilitary leadershipplannedaquickcommandoraidtorounduptheleadershipandthuscutshort theBattleforJaffna.TheJUareawasextremelybuiltup.Fromtheairthecitywaspacked withthered&greenoftiledroofsandpalmtrees.Therewerejusttwoopenpatches,a footballfieldandasmallerplayground. Theplanwastolandacompanyof70menfrom10ParaCdo.tosecurethefootballfield. Asecondwavewastofollowwithacompanyofthe13thSikhLI.Ifallwenttoplanthe helibornetroopswouldbelinkedwithtroopscomingbyland.ButunknowntotheIPKF,the LTTEhadinterceptedIPKFradiocommunicationsandknewtheplans.Ithadsightedthe landingzoneandwaswaiting.ThefirstwaveofMi 8flewinandbegandisgorgingthe ParaCdos.Theyimmediatelycameunderheavyfireespeciallyfrom0.50machineguns. TheLTTEhadtherangeandpositionright. SepoyLokRamrecounted,"Wethoughteverythingwasfinebutaswewereslidingoutof thehelicopterwecameunderheavyfirefromallsides.Itwasanimpossiblesituation,as peoplewouldcomeoutofthehousesfireatusanddisappearrightback.Therewere gunmenontreetopsincludingcoconuttrees.Sincewewereorderednottouseheavy

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LTTEhadinterceptedIPKFradiocommunicationsandknewtheplans.Ithadsightedthe landingzoneandwaswaiting.ThefirstwaveofMi 8flewinandbegandisgorgingthe ParaCdos.Theyimmediatelycameunderheavyfireespeciallyfrom0.50machineguns. TheLTTEhadtherangeandpositionright. SepoyLokRamrecounted,"Wethoughteverythingwasfinebutaswewereslidingoutof thehelicopterwecameunderheavyfirefromallsides.Itwasanimpossiblesituation,as peoplewouldcomeoutofthehousesfireatusanddisappearrightback.Therewere gunmenontreetopsincludingcoconuttrees.Sincewewereorderednottouseheavy weaponsitwasimpossibletoadvance.Wewerefightinganenemywecouldnoteven see." Heavyandsustainedmachinegunfirepinneddownthecommandoskillingsixofthem instantly.TheMi8sweredamagedbutmadeitbacktobase. WhatfollowedisthemostpainfulstoryoftheBattleofJaffna.Inthedarkwithheavy machinegunfirethesecondwaveofchoppersbroughtinaplatoonofSikhLIandlanded ontheothersmallerplayground.ThiswasafewyardsfromtheJaffnaUniversitybutis separatedbyseverallanesofboobytrappedbuildings.TheSikhssoonrealized somethingwaswrongastheylandedsmackontheLTTE'sbattlements.Bulletsrainedon them. ThethreehelicopterswerehitandpilotsbarelymanagedtonursethembacktoPalaly. Theirgrimassessment:Theplatoonwaslikelytobewipedoutaswouldany reinforcements.Thecommandersmadethedevil'schoice:leavetheplatoontoitsfate. Fatewashopelesslycrueltotheyoungcommanderoftheplatoon,MajorBirendraSingh. Thefirstmantogethitonlandingwastheradioman.ThisseveredcontactfromPalaly. Theycouldreachthecommandosonshortrangewalkietalkies.Thecommandosasked himtojointhem.Butlikeagoodinfantrymanhewaitedfortherestofhiscompany.Little didheknowthatitwasnotcoming.Andbythetimeheknewhewasencircled. Thefirstassaultcameatdawn.Thetroopsfoughtvaliantlyandrepelledit.Asmore assaultswerelaunchedthesituationbecamegrim.Eachassaultleftthemwithlessmen andammunition.Finallyat11:30a.m.onOctober12th,withthelastbulletfiredthetroops ledabayonetcharge.Theywerecutdowntothelastmanbutone.Thatman,SepoyGora Singh,wastakenPOWandlaterreleased.SepoySinghhelpedtoreconstructoneofthe mostpoignantbattlesinthehistoryoftheIndianArmy. FortheLTTEthiswasamoralebooster.TheSikhswerestrippedoftheirweapons, uniformandequipment.TheirbarebodiesweredisplayedatthenearbyNagarajaVihar templeandthenburntwithabarrelofoil.ThebattlefieldwaslitteredwithpiecesofSikh LI'suniformsandequipmentalongwiththousandsof.50MGshells. Meanwhilethecommandoswerestillholdingout.Theircommander,Lt.Col.DalbirSingh, ledarescuemissionwiththreeT 72tanks.Theroadswerehopelesslyboobytrapped. Thecommanderofthetankgroup,MajorAnilKaul,improvisedbrilliantly.Knowingtherail trackspassedbehindJaffnaUniversity,hedrovehistanksonthePalalyJaffnarailline. Passingthroughthenarrowlanes,anRPG7firedonhim,hittingtheturret.Theexplosion severedhisweddingringfinger.Splintershithimintheeyeandarm.Hismenputhimon morphineandtheyfoughttheirwaytotheParaCdos.Alittlelaterthe4/5Gorkhasand remainderofthe13SikhLIlinkedup. TheParaCdossuperiortrainingsavedtheday.Theyconservedammoandevenpicked upalltheirdeadandweapons.For18hourstheyprayedandfought.TheLTTEleadership cameperilouslyclosetogettingwipedout.It'sChief,Prabhakaran,wasinjuredinthefoot. The13SikhLInowholdsaspecialArdas&AkhandPanthonOctober12theveryyearto honourtheir30lonelyandgustycomradesonthebrutalkillingfieldsofJaffnaUniversity. AtthispointthemajoroperationalbasefortheIPKFwasPalalyairbase.Thiswasahubof LTTEactivityandthereforeaconstantbattletosecureitfromguerrillaattacks.TheIPKF wasbadlyoverstretched.OnOctober15/16ithalteditsadvancetostabilizeitsfront.A massiveairliftwasundertakentoreinforceitwith3brigadesandheavyequipment.These includedT72sandBMP1s.Theimprovisedcontrollersworkedroundtheclocktoflyin troopsandequipment.WhiletheIL76sandAn12smovedtheheavyequipmenttheAN 32s,Hs.748sandIndianAirlinesB737sbroughtinthetroops.Soheavywasthetrafficthat therunwayinTamabaram(Madras)crackedwiththerepeatedtakeoffsandlandings.The Mi8sandMi25s,aswellasCheetahs,wereflownin.ByendofOctobertheIAFflew2200 tacticaltransportand800helicoptersorties. OperationPawanresume Nowreinforcedthefightingresumed.Insomeareastheanti personnelmineswere counteredbyrollingBMP1sandT72soverthem.Buttherewasanotherweaponinthe LTTEarsenalwhichtheIPKFfoundhardtocombat snipers.Locatedinbuildings, treetopsandevencoconutpalms,equippedwithpowerfultelescopicinfraredsightsthey tookaheavytoll.Helicoptersflyingbelow2000feetwereshotatdamagingfive,although allwererecovered.ByselectivelykillingofficersandradiomentheLTTEwouldbring advancestoagrindinghalt. Takethecaseof4/5Gorkhas.Aspartof72Brigadethebattalionwassupposedtomove uptoJaffnaandlinkupwiththehelibornetroopsattheJaffnaUniversitycampus.There,it followedtheT72tanksandrescuedtheParaCommandos.Butwhilethetanksmoved out,theGorkhasbringinguptherearcameunderfirefromfourtemplesdominatingthe mainroadcrossinginUramparai. Underordersnottofirebackattemples,theGorkhastriedtoclosein.Thebattalion adjutant,MajorN.J.D.SinghatoughManipuriwashitontheheadanddiedinstantly. Anothercompanycommander,MajorAnilGardnerhadtheentirefleshofhislegblownoff byaClaymoremine.MajorA.A.Verghesetheothercompanycommanderandtheonly Tamilspeakerinthewholeunit,wentintoahousefullofcryingwomenandchildrento comfortthem.Asheturnedtoleaveanoldwomanshothimintheback.Itbecame disastrous,whenLt.Col.I.B.S.Bawawasshotjustunderhisheart.Alongwiththeother woundedhewasmovedtoadriedupwell,theonlycoveravailable.Withthehelicopters unabletocomeinbecauseofwitheringfirethewoundedhadtowaitfortankstofighttheir waythrough.Bythetimetheymadeitat4:30p.m.,Lt.Col.Bawadied.OnlytwoOfficersin thebattalionsurvivedtroughthefighting,OnewasthesecondincommandMajorRandhir Singh. Theotherwasayoungsubaltern,Lt.RajSinha,whohadjoinedtheArmyin1984and experiencedthisbattleafterthreeyearsofservice.Lt.Sinhawasrunningfromposttopost seeingthatthewoundedweretakencareofandfightingwiththeLTTEwithwhateverwas leftofthebattalionalong,withbulletswhizzingpasthim,Hecouldneverimaginewhythe bulletswentpasthimwithouthittinghim.Withjustthesetwoofficersatthehelm,the

waythrough.Bythetimetheymadeitat4:30p.m.,Lt.Col.Bawadied.OnlytwoOfficersin thebattalionsurvivedtroughthefighting,OnewasthesecondincommandMajorRandhir Singh. Theotherwasayoungsubaltern,Lt.RajSinha,whohadjoinedtheArmyin1984and experiencedthisbattleafterthreeyearsofservice.Lt.Sinhawasrunningfromposttopost seeingthatthewoundedweretakencareofandfightingwiththeLTTEwithwhateverwas leftofthebattalionalong,withbulletswhizzingpasthim,Hecouldneverimaginewhythe bulletswentpasthimwithouthittinghim.Withjustthesetwoofficersatthehelm,the battalionbecameunfitforfurtheroperationstillofficerreinforcementswereflownin. ElsewhereaBMP1ofthe72BrigadewithColonelD.S.Saraonwasblownbyamine killinghimandtheentirecomplementofninemen.TheIPKFwasforcedtoimproviseby havingitsofficersavoidpipsofranks,wearingslouchhatsandcarryoversizebackpacks. Asadvancesgotboggeddown,thebattalionsshouldhavetakenthetimetomanoeuvre aroundthedefenders.Instead,duetopressurefromNewDelhimoretroopswerethrown intothefurnace.ButtheminescontinuedtoharasstheIPKF.Frustrated,theIPKFcutoff powertoJaffnatocounterit. TocompoundtheIPKF'sproblems,itwasimpossibletodistinguishbetweentheTigers andcivilians.ManyatimestheywouldopenfireonaIPKFunit,hidetheirweaponsand mergewiththecivilians.SepoyGovindan,MadrasRegiment,says,"Itwasimpossibleto saywhowasaTigerandwhowasnot.Everyonemaleorfemaleabovetheageof10, couldbearmedanddangerous.Wesawlittlegirlsproducinggunsfromundertheirfrocks andshootingatus.Howdoyoufightthem?"TheturningpointcamewhenIMSF commandosbrokeoutofthebesiegedJaffnaportandclearedtheheavilymined NavanturaiCoastalRoad.Thisallowedthecruciallinkupbetween1MarathaLightInfantry inthefortunderColonelT.Brarandtheadvancingtroopsof41stBrigade.Thissealedoff theNallurarea. IttooktwoweeksofbitterandhardfightingfortheIPKFtowrestJaffnaandothermajor citiesfromtheLTTE.UnfortunatelymanyoftheLTTEhadexfiltratedoutofJaffna.Allthis timetheMi25swerenotauthorisedtobeused.Finallyaspatienceranout,theorderto usethesepowerfulgunshipswasgiven.InitsdebutatattackingLTTEentrenchmentsin Chavakacheriitwasusedtodevastatingeffect.ForonlyahandfulofIPKFcasualties, ChavakacheriwaswrestedfromtheLTTE.Contrasttothe600+casualtiesinJaffna,this speaksmonumentsofthepoliticalleadershipofIndia.BatteredinJaffna,theLTTEfled southwards.Itshardcorefightersmovedtothesafetyofthejunglesbyskirtingthecoastof JaffnafromPointPedrotoElephantPass,shelteredbytheimpenetrablejunglesand criss crossedwaterwaysoftheNittkaikulamjungles. IndianSpecialMarineForce Onthemidnightof21October1987,anIndianNavydestroyermoored5milesoutside JaffnaHarbour.18menslippedoverthesidesintotwoGeminimotorisedassaultcraft. Cladinblackwetsuitswithlightsubmachineguns,underwaterexplosivesanddaggers strappedtotheirsidestheywereadeadlylot.EachGeminicrafttowedawoodenraft strappedwithmoreexplosives.Thetarget:thenarrow&heavilyminedchannelleadingto theGuruNagarjetty,thehubofLTTEsuppliestoJaffnacity.Inadditiontotheboobytraps, LTTEsnipersandmachinegunsoverlookedthechannelfromhighrisebuildingaroundit.

Thejourneytookthreepainstakinghoursastheyhadtopausetounhookthemines,every few,now&then.Onceinsighttheyswitchedtothewoodenraftsandpaddledsothat noiseoftheGeminicraftwouldnotgivethemaway.Oneteamattachedexplosivestothe jettywhiletheothersortedtheLTTE'sYamahamotorequipped35knotspeedboats. Whileplacingexplosivesontheboatstheywerespottedandcameunderahailof machinegunfire.Theyfiredbackatthetelltaleflashes.Withinfiveminutesthe2Gemini craftroaredbackintotheharbourandopenedupcoveringfire. Bydawn,the18menwerebackontheirmothershipwithnocasualties.Thiswasthe secondmissionofthenewestspecialforceoftheIndianArmedForces,theNavy'sIndian SpecialMarineForce.Patterned&initiallytrainedaftertheUSNavySeals,theysoon provedcapableoftakinganymissiononland,airorsea.Theirdebutoccurredafewdays before,whentheywereairdroppedinthebeleagueredJaffnaFort.Withthehelpof10 ParaCommando,theybrokeoutandclearedtheheavilyminedNavanturaiCoastalRoad, allthetimeunderconstantfirefromrooftopsandsniperpositions.Thisallowedthe cruciallinkupbetween1MarathaLightInfantryinthefortandtheadvancingelementsof 41stBrigade. ThreedaysaftertheJaffnalagoonraidtheywerebacktodestroytheremainingboats.This timetheyswamformorethanamileunderwatertoreachtheirtargets.Underfirethey sufferedafewwoundsbutmanagedtodestroytheremainingboats.Lt.ArvindSinghin chargeofallthreeraidswasawardedtheMVC(MahaVirChakra)forhisoutstanding performance.ThroughouttheIPKFoperations,theIMSFwasusedtolaunchraidsinthe areasborderingthelagoons. INDIANAIRFORCEINSRILANKA OntheaftermathofthedisastrousJaffnaUniversityattack,theIndianAirForcerealizedthe urgencyofbringinginmorefirepowertosupportArmyoperationsandSHBOactivities.The damagetotheMi8scouldhavebeenavoidediftherewasmorefirepowertosuppress groundfireandiftheHelicoptershadadditionalarmourtoprotectthemselves. No.125HelicopterSquadronunderWgCdrSCMalhanwassoundedouttomovesouthto takepartintheJaffnaOperations.ItisbelievedsixMi25swereinitiallyflowntoJaffnavery soonaftertheJaffnaHelidropOperation.ThedetachmentwasunderthecommandofSqn LdrRajbirSingh,whohadbeenwiththesquadronsinceOctober85. Thefirststrikemissionwasflownon26thOctoberoverJaffna.FltLtAtanuGuru,whohad onlyrecentlycompletedconversionflewthesortieovertheKaraitivuCausewaylinkingthe Jaffnapeninsula.Assoonashearrivedoverthecauseway,henoticedfivevehiclesofthe LTTEattemptingtofleetowardsKaraitivu.Itdidn'ttakemuchtimeforthe12.7mmbullets tofindtheirmark.GurudestroyedallthefivevansandseveralLTTEmilitantswerekilled. ThesecausalitieswerelaterconfirmedbyanIPKFgroundpartythatreachedthesitelater on. Thenextday,27thOctober,atwoshipmissionwasflowntothetownofChavakacheri,led bySqnLdrRajbirSingh.ItwasreportedthattheIndianArmyincurredtheleastlosses, thankstothedeploymentofairpower,buttheoperationwasnotwithoutcriticism.The attackfromtheairwaswitnessedinpersonbyIndiaTodaycorrespondent,Shyam Tekwani,whowascoveringtheconflictfromtheLTTE'side.Tekwanireportedthatseveral civilianswerecaughtupintheinitialattackandwerekilled.Thisdeploymentoftheattack helicopterswaslaterconfirmedbytheSouthernArmyCommander,LtGenDepinder

ThesecausalitieswerelaterconfirmedbyanIPKFgroundpartythatreachedthesitelater on. Thenextday,27thOctober,atwoshipmissionwasflowntothetownofChavakacheri,led bySqnLdrRajbirSingh.ItwasreportedthattheIndianArmyincurredtheleastlosses, thankstothedeploymentofairpower,buttheoperationwasnotwithoutcriticism.The attackfromtheairwaswitnessedinpersonbyIndiaTodaycorrespondent,Shyam Tekwani,whowascoveringtheconflictfromtheLTTE'side.Tekwanireportedthatseveral civilianswerecaughtupintheinitialattackandwerekilled.Thisdeploymentoftheattack helicopterswaslaterconfirmedbytheSouthernArmyCommander,LtGenDepinder Singh. TheActionatMulai On3rdNovember1987,1stParaCommandowastaskedtoadvancingagainstLTTE TargetsatMulai.No.125SquadrondispatchedtwoMi25sflownbySqnLdrRajbirSingh andFltLtAtanuGurutoflyaheadandstrikeatmilitantstrongholdsneartheplace.Rajbir arrivedovertheareaandfoundhimselfinthemidstofsomeheavymachinegunfire.He usedhisfrontguntohitthegroundtargetsinmultipleruns.TwoLTTEboatswere destroyedintheinitialattacks.WhiledoinghisthirdrunflyingagainstaMachinegun emplacement,hefelthisMi25shudderunderhitsfromtheground.Heimmediately pulledoutoftheattacktoassessthedamagetothishelicopter.Hefoundhisleftengine RPMhadfallenrapidlyandwasprobablydamaged.TheOilPressureintheenginehad alsofallenrapidlyindicatingaheavyoilleak. Rajbirimmediatelyswitchedofftheportengineandcommencedhisreturnflighttobase. Hehadachoiceofjettisoningallhisarmamentstores therocketpodsunderthestub wingswhichstillhadafewrocketsinthem,butchosenottodosoasthestoreswouldfall inrebelcapturedarea.Flyingwiththerelativelyheavypayloadonasingleenginewould putenormousstressontheaircraft.Aforcedlandingwouldmeanthattheaircraftandthe aircrewwillfallinthemilitanthands.ForRajbir,thechoicewasclear,hecoaxedthe aircraftbacktoJaffnawhereheboughtintheaircraftdowntoasmoothrollinglanding. SubsequentinspectionrevealedthattheR/Tsystemwasalsoknockedoutbytheground fire. MeanwhileacallwasreceivedbyabeleaguereddetachmentoftheParaCommandos whocameunderwitheringfirefromtheLTTEpositions.AtanuGuruwhowasleftholding thefortafterRajbirsdepartureassessedthesituation.TheParacommandoswerehardly threehundredmetersawayfromtheLTTEpositions.Therewouldbenoroomforerror.As hecameintoattackthegroundpositions,theLTTEmilitantsdirectedaheavystreamof antiaircraftfireathim.Ignoringthestreaksoftracercominguptohim,Gurucontinued firinghisforwardgunintotheenemypositions.Themilitantsfirewasnomatchforthe batteringtheygotfromtheMi25sweapons.Theysoonwithdrewfromtheirpositions.Guru hadusedupnearlyathousandroundsinhisattack. ThecloseairsupportfromRajbirsandGuru'sMi 25swassoeffectivethat1Parawas abletoovercometheLTTEpositions.Theymanagedtocaptureaflagbelongingtothe LTTEwhichwassenttoNo.125Squadronasatokenofappreciation. Itisestimatedthatduringthe20daysfrom11to31Octobersome2,200tacticaltransport and800assaulthelicoptersortieswerecarriedouttoflyintroops,weapons,vehicles, storesandvariousotherequipment,primarilytoPalalyandChinaBayairfieldsinnorthern andeasternSriLankafrombasesinsouthernIndia,andtoflyoutthemountingcasualties tomilitaryhospitalsoftheSouthernCommand.Inaddition,Boeing737swereemployed fortrooptransport,throwingcommercialschedulesoutofgearformanydays. FallofJaffna IttooktwoweeksofbitterfightingfortheIPKFtowrestcontrolofJaffnaandothertowns fromthemilitarycontroloftheLTTE.DuringthesecondhalfofOctober1987theIndianAir Forcecarriedoutmoretransportandhelicoptersortiesinsupportofthegroundforces thanatanysimilarperiodoftimeinthehistoryofthecountry'sarmedforces.TheMi 25 gunshipswereemployedtointerdictthemovementofmilitantsfromtheJaffnaPeninsula totheneighbouringislandsandmainlandofSriLanka.TheLTTEhadattemptedtobring inreinforcementsofpersonnelandlogisticsandhadlateronexfiltrateditscadresfrom Jafna,andtheMi25swereusedinthelagoonareastodestroymilitantboatsand vehicles. InthewordsofLieutenantGeneralDepinderSingh,"Weusedhelicoptersforcarrying troopsbutwhentheycameundersniperfirewehadtobringdownsuppressivefirein turn."ThefirstuseofMi25sforcloseairsupportwason29OctoberwhenMi25sattacked LTTEentrenchmentsintheChavakacheriarea,32kmeastofJaffna,withrocketand cannonfire,enablingthe11thand12thMadrasbattalionstooverwhelmthelast resistanceandeffectalinkup.Inanotheraction,Mi8helicoptersflewinpara commandoestoareasonthewesternpartofthepeninsulaandontoislandstoengage LTTEstrongholds.Mi25spatrollingthePointPedroVadamarachchiandtheMoolai TelliapalliroadsdestroyedanumberofLTTEvehicles,fromMannertoMullaitivuand ElephantPasstoVavuniya.Astheoperationsprogressed,itbecameclearthattheLTTE wasconcentratingitselfintheNittikaikulamareasinceitwasproximatetotheeastern seaboard,whoselagoonsandrivuletstheLTTEknewthoroughlyandfromwhereit receivedsupplies.Theseincludedthelatestweaponry,aswellascommunications equipmenttocontrolitsfarflungcadres. ShiftingtotheJungles WiththeLTTEslippingintothejunglestheoverstretchedIPKFbegantobuildupforthe longhaulahead.The36thInfantryDivisionalongwith2additionalbrigadeswasbrought in.IttookoverresponsibilityfortheTrincomaleeBatticaloaandVavuniyasectorswhile the54thDivisionconsolidatedinJaffna.TheninFeb88the4thMountainDivisionand57 InfantryDivisioncameinandtookoverVanniandBatticaloasectorsfromthe36th.The Jaffnasectorwasthesmallest,about60kmby30km)withapopulationof200,000.About 16to20battalionswereemployedinthissector.Thenbeganthedailyritualsofmineand IEDexplosions,unearthingofarmsandshootoutswithgroupsofLTTEmen.Thetownof JaffnawasunderthechargeofBrigadierManjitSingh.Atoughandtemperamental individual,hewouldleadsomeofhisoperationsfromaBMP. HisimpatiencewithhiscommandledhimtosacktwoofhisCOs,hisBrigadeMajorand hisSignalOfficer.Buthispersonalbraveryanddynamismwasbeyondreproachandwas laterdecoratedwiththeMVC.HeheldJaffnawellalthoughtherewasalwaystensioninthe town.WhenhisBrigadewaspulledoffthetaskwaspassedontoBrigadierJSDhillon.A manoffewwordsDhillonmovedinquickly.Heusedhisforcesintelligentlyconstantly thinkingofchanges.Smallunitsscurriedaroundthetowninvans,cycles,mopedsand

JaffnawasunderthechargeofBrigadierManjitSingh.Atoughandtemperamental individual,hewouldleadsomeofhisoperationsfromaBMP. HisimpatiencewithhiscommandledhimtosacktwoofhisCOs,hisBrigadeMajorand hisSignalOfficer.Buthispersonalbraveryanddynamismwasbeyondreproachandwas laterdecoratedwiththeMVC.HeheldJaffnawellalthoughtherewasalwaystensioninthe town.WhenhisBrigadewaspulledoffthetaskwaspassedontoBrigadierJSDhillon.A manoffewwordsDhillonmovedinquickly.Heusedhisforcesintelligentlyconstantly thinkingofchanges.Smallunitsscurriedaroundthetowninvans,cycles,mopedsand autos.Theywouldscurryacrossbackyardsandoverwallsconstantlychangingtheir directions.Sometimes3to4columnswouldmoveinparallelinoppositedirections, lashingoutLTTEhideoutsandalsobeingabletoprovidecoveringfire.Hemadegood useoftheBMPstokeeptheEasternCoastalrouteclear. TheVadarmachitownwasheldbyBrigadierSamayRam.Hewasaverycalmmantotally unperturbed.Hewasahardthinkerandwasabletosimulatethesameinhis subordinates.WhenhismenwereattackedfromtheNallurKandsawamytemplehe refusedtoattackitbackbecauseof30000civilianrefugeesinthetemplepremises.The standoffwasresolvedwhentheLTTEkeepinginmindciviliancasualtieschooseto withdraw.Ahugecacheofarmsandammunitionwasfoundinthetemplecourtesythe sonoftheheadpriestanLTTEmember.Hisexcellentrapportwiththelocals,ledtoalotof cooperationfromthelocalheads.NorthofJaffnaextendingintoKankesanthuraiandKayts islandwasthedomainofBrigJKRalli.Shruggingofthecriticismofhisunitsintheearly battlesheusedinnovativetacticsandconstantlyevolvingbattledrillstokeeptheLTTEon itstoes.Hewasthefirsttobuildanintelligencenetworkfromthegroundup.Acoupleof unitsrehabilitatedthemselvesintoefficientoutfits. InthejunglesoftheSouth,aroundtheKillinochifarmlands,rimmedbythethickjunglesof VanniweretheforcesofBrigadierJaspalSingh.TheIPKFdevisedtacticstosuitthe terrain.Inordertosustainoperationsforalongertime,withouthavingtorelyonair supplies,heestablishedroadaxesforessentialvehiclestopenetratethejunglesforas faraspossible.Heplannedartillery&mortarcoverforallhisvehiclesensuringimmediate firesupport.TheChetaksandCheetahswereemployedtoguideartilleryandMi25s towardsthetargets.Insteadofindiscriminatejunglebashing,attacksweremadeonwell identifiedtargets.WherevertheopportunityaroseforoperationsinflatfarmlandsBMPs wereusedaggressively.ThearealeftofPachchilaippali,thesoutheasternstripofland betweenJaffna&ElephantPassonthelagooninthesouthwereLTTEstrongholds. AsalltheroutestoJaffnaandVadamarachipassedthroughthistheIPKFtriedtomake inroadshere.ButtheLTTEwiselypreferredtokeeplowandbypasstheIPKFratherthan confrontthem.ButsoonunderthechargeofBrigadierPanag,aveteranoftheNaga campaignthingsbegantochange.LTTEtrailswerepickedupandambushesset constantly.Whilethecoastswerebeinghit,Panagkeptthepressureonlandwithaseries ofdeceptivemobileposts.Inthelagoonsanumberoffrailassaultboatsmannedby ColonelDahiya'sengineerskeptengagingthesuperiorLTTEwaterborneforces.South acrosstheKillinochibeltinMulaivithuwasthelargestconcentrationofLTTEcampsand cadres.InchargeofthisareawasBrigadierPalsokar.Hismenwereinvolvedinthe maximumnumberofbattles.MajoractionwasobservedinAlampil(May88), Nittukaikulam(Sept88)andNayuruAprilMay89.Theseplaceswereinterconnectedand heavilydefendedindicatingthepresenceoftheLTTEleadership. JungleBashing:OperationTrishulandViraat Aboutthistime,theIPKF'sdoctrineofcounterinsurgencyagainsttheLTTEwasevolved. TheanswerwasnottomaintainstrongholdsintheJaffnapeninsula,buttoactively conductsearchanddestroymissionsagainstLTTEcampsandbasesinthedense tropicalforestsoftheNorth.This'JungleBashing'wouldinvolveaggressivepatrollingby theindividualinfantryunits.Thisalsoresultedinthecasualtiesmountingsteadily.butthe professionalprideandesteemoftheIndianArmyservedtosteelitsmorale. ThefirstphaseofIPKFoperationsintheareawascodenamedTrishulandViraat.It spreadoutovertheNorthernprovincesfromMannartoMullaitivuandElephantPassto Vavuniya.AstheheatturneduptheLTTEstartedoperatingmorefromtheNittaikulam areasclosetothelagoonsandrivuletsitnewsowell.Thiswaswhereitssupplies continuedtobedelivered.TheLTTEwashithardlosingareacommandersandleaders everyday.InoneinstanceanIPKFassaultinMullaitivuinFeb88almosttrappedthe IPKF'stopleadership.AgallantrearguardactionbyPrabhakaran'sguardsensuredhis escape.12LTTEmenwerefounddeadafterthefight. OperationTrishulwaslaunchedinApril1988.Itsresultweremodest,hundredsof weaponsseizedandfewkilledbutitkeptthepressureup.OperationViraatwaslaunched inMay/June1988.Aforceof15,000armouredpersonnel,infantrymenandparatroopers wereused.DuringtheoperationtheIPKFstumbledacrosswellprepareddefenses.It consistedofconcretebunkerswithelectricgenerators.Afewguerillaswerecapturedor killedbutmostmeltedaway.Butsometimes,theLTTEstruckback.Whentheydiddoso,it wasatthetimeandplaceoftheirownchoosing.Sovulnerableconvoysandlonevehicles becamethetargetsforambushes.TheLTTEweremastersattheuseoflandminesand improvisedexplosivedevices.Forawhile,theseIEDattackswereneutralisedbythe cuttingoffpowertotheJaffnaPeninsula.butitwasnotapermanentsolution.Thusthe Armysufferedanumberofcausalitiestotheseambushes.Ambushesbygunfirewere rare,andwhencarriedoutbytheLTTE,theyfoundthatthearmybouncedbackwithgreat fervour.Thearmyrosetotheoccasioninthesesmallactions.Youngofficersandsoldiers displayedextraordinarycourageandbraveryinthefaceofdeath. Ofparticularmentionwouldbetwosoldiersof1/11GorkhaRifles.1/11GRwasoneofthe originalbattalionsthatwasinductedforthefightinginOperationPawan.AftertheCapture ofJaffna,itsmissionwasprimarilysendingpatrolson'Search&Destroy'missions.One Patrolonsuchamissionon16March1988intheVallankulamPannaiarearanintoan ambushwhenenfiladegunfireraineddownonthemfromthedensejunglegrowths.The Gorkhashitthegroundandreturnedfire.Slowlytheyorganisedthemselvesandextricated themselvesoutofthesite.IntheMelee,twoJawansgotseparatedfromthemaincolumn, HavildarDevinderSinghGurungandRiflemanRajenderBahadurThapawereboth pinneddownbyheavyfire.Bythetimetheycouldextricatethemselves,themaincolumn hasdisappeared,asbothwerepresumedtobemissinginaction.Asboththejawans weremakingtheirwaythroughtheundergrowth,theycameunderfirefromLTTESnipers. Intheexchangeoffire,HavildarGurungwashitinthethighandwasnotabletomove. RiflemanThapathenpickedupHavildarGurungandcarriedhimonhisshoulderstoahut nearby,returningtheoddburstthatcamehiswaywithfirefromhisIshaporerifle. Onceinthehut,RiflemanThapaadministeredfirstaidtoHavildarGurungandsurveyed thesituationaroundhim.TheLTTEhadidentifiedthetwosoldiershideoutandslowly havestartedencirclingtheHutfromadistance.EvenastheLTTEMilitantsslowlymade

hasdisappeared,asbothwerepresumedtobemissinginaction.Asboththejawans weremakingtheirwaythroughtheundergrowth,theycameunderfirefromLTTESnipers. Intheexchangeoffire,HavildarGurungwashitinthethighandwasnotabletomove. RiflemanThapathenpickedupHavildarGurungandcarriedhimonhisshoulderstoahut nearby,returningtheoddburstthatcamehiswaywithfirefromhisIshaporerifle. Onceinthehut,RiflemanThapaadministeredfirstaidtoHavildarGurungandsurveyed thesituationaroundhim.TheLTTEhadidentifiedthetwosoldiershideoutandslowly havestartedencirclingtheHutfromadistance.EvenastheLTTEMilitantsslowlymade theirwaytothehut,RiflemanThapapickedthemoffwithsingleshotsfromhisIshapore. Hismainconcernwastosaveammunition,anduseitefficiently.Resistingthetemptation towastetheammunitioningeneraldirectionofthemilitants,RiflemanThapauseditonly whenhecouldclearlyidentifyhistarget.Theexchangeoffirewentonandonwellintothe nextday.EarlymorningonMarch17th,apatrolsentby1/11GRinsearchofthetwo missingsoldierswasdrawntothehutbythesoundofgunfire.TheLTTEMilitantsdecided tocallitadayonthesightoftheapproachingpatrolandfled.RiflemanThapaandHavildar Gurungwerethusrecoveredsafely.RiflemanThapakeptacoolmindandasaresulthe wasabletokeeptheLTTEMilitantsatbayformorethan17Hours.Duringthetime,he firedonly22rounds,andwaswellatargetforhundredsofroundsfiredbytheAK47Rifles oftheLTTE.TwodeadmilitantswererecoveredaswellasanotherwoundedLTTEman.It wasn'talwaystheJawanortheNCOthatdisplayedsuchbraveryandcourage,young officersbarelyoutoftheIndianMilitaryAcademy(IMA)thrustintotheswelteringJunglesof JaffnatooshowedthattheycouldgiveafittingreplytotheLTTE. On19July1988,aconvoyofatwovehiclesofthe7thBattalionoftheAssamRegiment wasmakingitswayfromMadurengkenikulamtoManganitocollectdryrations.Incharge ofthedetailwasayoungsubaltern,2ndLt.RajeevSandhu,whowasbarelysixmonths outoftheIMA.2ndLt.SandhuwastravelingintheMahindraJeep,leadingthewaytothe1 TonNissantruckwhichwastrailing50metersbehindthejeep.Drivingthejeepwas SepoyNKKSRajkumar,2ndLt.Sandhuwasinthenextseat.SittingintherearwasL/Nk NandeshwarDasandSepoyLalbuanga.Asthevehiclesreachedatrackjunction,arocket firedfromtheundergrowthhitthejeep,liftingitintotheairandoverturningittotheside. ImmediatelyafusilladeoffirefromtheAK47sstraddledtheoverturnedJeep.Whenthe volleyoffireended,andsilencedescendedontheambushsite,theLTTEmilitantsknew thatthiswasoneconvoythatnevermadeittotheArmybase.Theycameoutoftheir ambushpositionstopickuptheweaponsandequipmentofthefallensoldiers. ButoneIndianSoldierstillhadhiswitsaroundwithhim.Outoftheviewofthemilitants, 2ndLt.Sandhu,wasdragginghimselfwithhis9mmSMCCarbineoutofthewreck.Both hislegsweresmashedwhentherockethitthejeep,thesubsequentvolleyoffirehad woundedhimandhewasbleedingprofusely.Hecheckedtheotheroccupantsofthejeep. Noneofthemwereconscious.Infacttheinitialblastoftherocketwasborneby2ndLt. Sandhu.ThemachinegunfirethatfollowedkilledbothLanceNaikDasandSep Lalbuangaintherear.DriverRajkumarwaswoundedandunconscious.Sandhutumbled outoftheJeepandcrawledtoafireposition.AsoneoftheLTTEmilitantsbythenameof KumaranapproachedtheJeep.Despitehislegsbeingtotallysmashedandhisbody riddenwithbullets,2ndLt.Sandhuliftedhiscarbinewithbloodsoakedhandsand sprayedKumaranwithbullets,killinghiminstantly. However,thebleedinghadalreadytakenitstoll.2ndLt.Sandhusuccumbedtohis woundsandinjuries.AgratefulnationrecognisedhisbraverywiththeawardofaMahaVir Chakrain1990.2ndLt.Sandhuwasjust22yearsoldwhenhediedinSriLanka. IncidentslikethesewerewhatkepttheLTTEfromunderestimatingthefightingprowessof theArmy.TheyknewthattheycouldnotcomparethefightingcalibreoftheIndianSoldierto thatoftheSriLankanArmy.TheIndianSoldierwascomingfromabackgroundof operationalexposureinareasliketheJunglesofNortheastandtheMountainsofthe North.DeathandHardshipwerenotastrangertohim,thusHewasmorereadyandmore experiencedinfightingbacktothehitandruntacticsoftheLTTE. Operation`Checkmate' AsarunuptotheProvincialCouncilelections,theIPKFlaunchedOperation`Checkmate' inseveralphasestorootouttheTigers.Intheactions,theLTTEsufferedgrievouslyand, inoneinstance,theIPKFalmostcaughtthetopLTTEleadership.TheLTTE'scarefully sitedpositionsweredestroyed,anditwasagainontherun.Themainpurposeofthe exercisewastoensurethattheLTTEwouldnothavethecapabilitytodisrupttheelections.

TheJungleBashingsooncametoahalt,astheIPKFconcentratedontheupcoming ProvincialCouncilelections.OperationCheckmateendedbythemiddleofOctober1988. OperationBaazExtensionofOperations: WiththesuccessoftheProvincialCouncilElectionsandSriLankanParliamentary electionstheIPKFresumedoperations.Itnowfacedsomehardchoices.Thereneededto beapurposetoavoiddropintroopmoraleduetosenseofaimlessnessandlackofclarity inpurpose.ButwhileitfiguredoutthebestcourseofactionsnormalOperation Checkmatewasresumed. TheaimwastocontinuetohoundtheLTTEforcingittocometothepeacetalks.While parleysweregoingoninIndiatheIPKFfocusedonthestrongholdsintheNittikulam districtnortheastofVavuniya.Thisledtosomefiercefightingincludinghandtohand.One suchactiontookplaceontheshoresoftheNayurulagoon,southofAlampil.Theshores ofthelagoonaredenselyforested.OneoftheBattalionsfreshlyinductedafterthe OperationViraatwasthe6thBattalionofthe8thGorkhariflesregiment.6/8GRwasvested withthetaskofbeingthescoutunitintheJungleBashingmissionofOperationBaaz,and theystartedtheiroperationsinthelastweekofFebruary.On02March1989,two Companiesof6/8GRsetoutona'reconnaissancemission'.Thiswasamissionto searchandweedoutanyLTTEelements,thedetailshad48hoursworthofrationswith themwhileonthemove.TheUnitwasnotexpectingmuchaction.Tillthen,theiractivities inSriLankainvolvedonlymanningofroadblocksandconductingsearchesattheseroad blocks.TheironlyhourofexcitementwaswhentheynabbedahiddenDinghyandan outboardmotorbeingcarriedinaTractorTrailer. AstheLeadplatoonsmadetheirwaythroughthethickanddensejungle,Oneofthe sectionsinthefrontranintoanambush.TheLTTEmenopenedfirewiththeirLMGsand AKRifles,killingorwoundedfiveoftheGorkhas.ThoughtheGorkhasreturnedfire,the LTTEcasualtiescouldnotbeascertained.Evenasthefightingwasgoingon,the Gorkhasrealisedthattheyhadstumbledupontheouterdefencesofamajorbase.In suchacasetherewouldbeacoupleoftiersofdefensivepositionsbeforethemaincamp agood1012kmbehind.ThiswasthereasontheLTTEouterdefenceswereholding theirground.ThisspurredontheGorkhastorenewtheirassaultwithmorefervour.By

AstheLeadplatoonsmadetheirwaythroughthethickanddensejungle,Oneofthe sectionsinthefrontranintoanambush.TheLTTEmenopenedfirewiththeirLMGsand AKRifles,killingorwoundedfiveoftheGorkhas.ThoughtheGorkhasreturnedfire,the LTTEcasualtiescouldnotbeascertained.Evenasthefightingwasgoingon,the Gorkhasrealisedthattheyhadstumbledupontheouterdefencesofamajorbase.In suchacasetherewouldbeacoupleoftiersofdefensivepositionsbeforethemaincamp agood1012kmbehind.ThiswasthereasontheLTTEouterdefenceswereholding theirground.ThisspurredontheGorkhastorenewtheirassaultwithmorefervour.By nightfallthefightingbecameconfused.TheCommandingOfficeroftheGorkha'sColonel V.K.Bakshisentbackcallsformorereinforcements.AstheGorkhasranoutofammothey drewtheirkukhrisandwadedintotheLTTE.SomewherealongthelineColonelBakshi wasfatallywounded.Bymorningthefightingwasallovera4kmfront.Helicoptersflewin reinforcements.Aninfantrycompanydroppedfromtheothersideofthelagoontohelpthe Gorkhasranintoheavilyboobytrappedtrails.Byafternoon5battalionsoftheArmywerein theareamovingtowardsthelagoon.ByMarch7whentheoperationswereover70LTTE personnelwerekilled.Themaingroupincludingtheleadershipmeltedaway.Colonel BakshiwasawardedtheMVCposthumously. TheMi8scontinuedtoflyinreinforcements.After2daysofbuilduptheIPKFagain resumedoperations.ByMarch15almostafullDivisionofIPKFtroopswereinvolved.The IAFintensifieditsoperations.No109HUferriedintroops,ammo,equipmentandfood.MI 25gunshipsoperatingoutofChinaBayflewlargenumberofattacksortiesguidedinby Chetakhelicopters.CASEVACdutiesweresharedbyChetaksandMi8s. TheseoperationshadatellingeffectontheLTTE.TheIPKFmeantbusiness.Itwillnotsit byincamps.IthadthewillandtheabilitytoseektheTigersintheirlairevenifitmeant boobytraps,minesandcasualties.Itwasthismountingpressure,whilenomeansa defeatbutasteadydecimationofitsunitswhichcausedtheLTTEtoseekpeacetalkswith theSriLankanGovtonApril251989.TheIPKFhadfinallybroughtthepartiestothetable forapoliticalsolutionwhichwastheonlylongtermsolutioninthistypeofethnicconflict. TheLTTEAgreesforPeaceTalks TheLTTEwhilenotdefeatedwasslowlybeingdecimated.Ithadtoconfrontthe inexhaustibleresourcesoftheIPKFwhichwaspreparedtostayonforyears.Itscadres andjuniorleaderswerebeingwipedoutregularlyintheurbanareas.Itwasprimarilya jungleforcealbeitonewiththesupportofthemajorityofTamils.Stillitwasworriedatthe increasinginfluenceofthemoderateparties,theNEPCandtheCVF.Littlebylittlepeople wereacceptingthewayoflife. OntheothersideColombocontinuedtohemandhawovertheNEPC.Oppositiontothe accordledbythenewPresidentPremadasa. Posted:SatSep08,20078:06pmPostsubject:TheIndianArmyinSriLanka TheIndianArmyinSriLanka

SourceCopyrightBHARATRAKSHAK IndoSriLankaaccordwassignedinSriLankaon29July1987.Thiswastobeupheldby anIndianPeaceKeepingForce(IPKF).Thefirstphaseenvisionedthesupervisionofthe surrenderofarmsbythevariousmilitantgroups.Soonsome24AN12sandAN32sflew intoPalalycarryingtwoIndianArmybattalionsconstitutingtheIPKF. OnJuly30th,LieutenantGeneralDepinderSingh,theIndianArmy'sGOCinCSouthern CommandflewintoJaffnatodiscussarrangementswiththeSriLankanforces.Thenext fewdayssawthebulkofaninfantrybrigadecomprisingtheSikhLightInfantry,theMaratha LightInfantry,theMaharRegimentplussupportingelementshadlandedinnorthernSri Lanka.ByAugust,the54thInfantryDivisionunderthecommandofMajGenHarkiratSingh andthe340thIndianInfBdehadlandedinSriLanka. Theinitialphaseoftheagreementcalledforthedisarmamentofthevariousmilitant groupsfollowedbytheformationoftheInterimAdministrativeCouncil.Thiswastohave proportionaterepresentationfromvariousgroupsbuttheLTTEwantedtodominateit.Part ofthisfascistoutlookwasthemassacreofpoliticalrivalsandSinhalesegroups.Agroup ofcapturedLTTEmilitantscommittedsuicideinthecustodyoftheSriLankanArmy.These gavetheLTTEtheexcuseitwanted. ApoliticaldecisionwastakentodisarmtheLTTEifnecessarybyforce.Meanwhileon October8th,theLTTEcarriedoutmortarandmachinegunattacksonIPKFpatrols. FollowingahighlevelDefenceMinistrymeetingonOctober10th,theIPKFcommencedits operations,codenamed'Pawan'onthenightof11/12October1987. OperationPawanTheBattleforJaffna TherulesofengagementforthisoperationwerestrictandonceagaintiedtheIndian Army'shands.Useofartillery,heavyweaponryandoffensiveairsupportwasforbiddento minimiseciviliancasualtyanddamagetoproperty.TheIndianArmy'splanwastocripple theLTTEguerrillanetworkbycapturingitsheadquartersinJaffnaCity,atasktheSri LankanArmyhadtriedthisformanyyearsbuthadnotsucceeded.Pushedbythe political/bureaucraticestablishmenttheArmymadeahastyplan.Howeverithadonly91st BrigadeunderBrigadierJ.Ralliconsistingofonlythreebattalions.Onewasatthefront, oneatpointPedroandonewestofPalaly. Furthermoreeachbattalionwasstaffedtoonly50%andhadnoneofitsheavyweapons astheyhadnotbeenexpectingafight.TheIPKFpushintothecitywascontestedbythe LTTEateverynookandcorner.Ithadtofightagainstheavilyarmedguerrilla,inaheavily builtupanddenselypopulatedurbanareaalreadyfortifiedandextensivelyminedduring thethreeyearsofwarwiththeSriLankanArmy. Bothsidestookheavycasualties.Furthermorealltheapproachroadswerepittedwith Claymoreminesorhugedrumsfilledwithexplosives,buriedintheground.Thewhole areawasfloodedwithIEDs(ImprovisedExplosiveDevices)whichcouldbedetonatedby remoteorradiocontrolfromoverakilometreaway.Onesuchexplosionkilled29IPKF personnel.Theattacktookplacealongfiveaxistothecity. RAIDONJAFFNAUNIVERSITY,12OCTOBER1987

thethreeyearsofwarwiththeSriLankanArmy. Bothsidestookheavycasualties.Furthermorealltheapproachroadswerepittedwith Claymoreminesorhugedrumsfilledwithexplosives,buriedintheground.Thewhole areawasfloodedwithIEDs(ImprovisedExplosiveDevices)whichcouldbedetonatedby remoteorradiocontrolfromoverakilometreaway.Onesuchexplosionkilled29IPKF personnel.Theattacktookplacealongfiveaxistothecity. RAIDONJAFFNAUNIVERSITY,12OCTOBER1987 JaffnaUniversity(JU)wasthetacticalheadquartersoftheLTTE.TheIndianmilitary leadershipplannedaquickcommandoraidtorounduptheleadershipandthuscutshort theBattleforJaffna.TheJUareawasextremelybuiltup.Fromtheairthecitywaspacked withthered&greenoftiledroofsandpalmtrees.Therewerejusttwoopenpatches,a footballfieldandasmallerplayground. Theplanwastolandacompanyof70menfrom10ParaCdo.tosecurethefootballfield. Asecondwavewastofollowwithacompanyofthe13thSikhLI.Ifallwenttoplanthe helibornetroopswouldbelinkedwithtroopscomingbyland.ButunknowntotheIPKF,the LTTEhadinterceptedIPKFradiocommunicationsandknewtheplans.Ithadsightedthe landingzoneandwaswaiting.ThefirstwaveofMi 8flewinandbegandisgorgingthe ParaCdos.Theyimmediatelycameunderheavyfireespeciallyfrom0.50machineguns. TheLTTEhadtherangeandpositionright. SepoyLokRamrecounted,"Wethoughteverythingwasfinebutaswewereslidingoutof thehelicopterwecameunderheavyfirefromallsides.Itwasanimpossiblesituation,as peoplewouldcomeoutofthehousesfireatusanddisappearrightback.Therewere gunmenontreetopsincludingcoconuttrees.Sincewewereorderednottouseheavy weaponsitwasimpossibletoadvance.Wewerefightinganenemywecouldnoteven see." Heavyandsustainedmachinegunfirepinneddownthecommandoskillingsixofthem instantly.TheMi8sweredamagedbutmadeitbacktobase. WhatfollowedisthemostpainfulstoryoftheBattleofJaffna.Inthedarkwithheavy machinegunfirethesecondwaveofchoppersbroughtinaplatoonofSikhLIandlanded ontheothersmallerplayground.ThiswasafewyardsfromtheJaffnaUniversitybutis separatedbyseverallanesofboobytrappedbuildings.TheSikhssoonrealized somethingwaswrongastheylandedsmackontheLTTE'sbattlements.Bulletsrainedon them. ThethreehelicopterswerehitandpilotsbarelymanagedtonursethembacktoPalaly. Theirgrimassessment:Theplatoonwaslikelytobewipedoutaswouldany reinforcements.Thecommandersmadethedevil'schoice:leavetheplatoontoitsfate. Fatewashopelesslycrueltotheyoungcommanderoftheplatoon,MajorBirendraSingh. Thefirstmantogethitonlandingwastheradioman.ThisseveredcontactfromPalaly. Theycouldreachthecommandosonshortrangewalkietalkies.Thecommandosasked himtojointhem.Butlikeagoodinfantrymanhewaitedfortherestofhiscompany.Little didheknowthatitwasnotcoming.Andbythetimeheknewhewasencircled. Thefirstassaultcameatdawn.Thetroopsfoughtvaliantlyandrepelledit.Asmore assaultswerelaunchedthesituationbecamegrim.Eachassaultleftthemwithlessmen andammunition.Finallyat11:30a.m.onOctober12th,withthelastbulletfiredthetroops ledabayonetcharge.Theywerecutdowntothelastmanbutone.Thatman,SepoyGora Singh,wastakenPOWandlaterreleased.SepoySinghhelpedtoreconstructoneofthe mostpoignantbattlesinthehistoryoftheIndianArmy.

FortheLTTEthiswasamoralebooster.TheSikhswerestrippedoftheirweapons, uniformandequipment.TheirbarebodiesweredisplayedatthenearbyNagarajaVihar templeandthenburntwithabarrelofoil.ThebattlefieldwaslitteredwithpiecesofSikh LI'suniformsandequipmentalongwiththousandsof.50MGshells. Meanwhilethecommandoswerestillholdingout.Theircommander,Lt.Col.DalbirSingh, ledarescuemissionwiththreeT 72tanks.Theroadswerehopelesslyboobytrapped. Thecommanderofthetankgroup,MajorAnilKaul,improvisedbrilliantly.Knowingtherail trackspassedbehindJaffnaUniversity,hedrovehistanksonthePalalyJaffnarailline. Passingthroughthenarrowlanes,anRPG7firedonhim,hittingtheturret.Theexplosion severedhisweddingringfinger.Splintershithimintheeyeandarm.Hismenputhimon morphineandtheyfoughttheirwaytotheParaCdos.Alittlelaterthe4/5Gorkhasand remainderofthe13SikhLIlinkedup. TheParaCdossuperiortrainingsavedtheday.Theyconservedammoandevenpicked upalltheirdeadandweapons.For18hourstheyprayedandfought.TheLTTEleadership cameperilouslyclosetogettingwipedout.It'sChief,Prabhakaran,wasinjuredinthefoot. The13SikhLInowholdsaspecialArdas&AkhandPanthonOctober12theveryyearto honourtheir30lonelyandgustycomradesonthebrutalkillingfieldsofJaffnaUniversity.

AtthispointthemajoroperationalbasefortheIPKFwasPalalyairbase.Thiswasahubof LTTEactivityandthereforeaconstantbattletosecureitfromguerrillaattacks.TheIPKF wasbadlyoverstretched.OnOctober15/16ithalteditsadvancetostabilizeitsfront.A massiveairliftwasundertakentoreinforceitwith3brigadesandheavyequipment.These includedT72sandBMP1s.Theimprovisedcontrollersworkedroundtheclocktoflyin troopsandequipment.WhiletheIL76sandAn12smovedtheheavyequipmenttheAN 32s,Hs.748sandIndianAirlinesB737sbroughtinthetroops.Soheavywasthetrafficthat therunwayinTamabaram(Madras)crackedwiththerepeatedtakeoffsandlandings.The Mi8sandMi25s,aswellasCheetahs,wereflownin.ByendofOctobertheIAFflew2200 tacticaltransportand800helicoptersorties. OperationPawanresume Nowreinforcedthefightingresumed.Insomeareastheanti personnelmineswere counteredbyrollingBMP1sandT72soverthem.Buttherewasanotherweaponinthe LTTEarsenalwhichtheIPKFfoundhardtocombat snipers.Locatedinbuildings, treetopsandevencoconutpalms,equippedwithpowerfultelescopicinfraredsightsthey tookaheavytoll.Helicoptersflyingbelow2000feetwereshotatdamagingfive,although allwererecovered.ByselectivelykillingofficersandradiomentheLTTEwouldbring advancestoagrindinghalt.

OperationPawanresume Nowreinforcedthefightingresumed.Insomeareastheanti personnelmineswere counteredbyrollingBMP1sandT72soverthem.Buttherewasanotherweaponinthe LTTEarsenalwhichtheIPKFfoundhardtocombat snipers.Locatedinbuildings, treetopsandevencoconutpalms,equippedwithpowerfultelescopicinfraredsightsthey tookaheavytoll.Helicoptersflyingbelow2000feetwereshotatdamagingfive,although allwererecovered.ByselectivelykillingofficersandradiomentheLTTEwouldbring advancestoagrindinghalt. Takethecaseof4/5Gorkhas.Aspartof72Brigadethebattalionwassupposedtomove uptoJaffnaandlinkupwiththehelibornetroopsattheJaffnaUniversitycampus.There,it followedtheT72tanksandrescuedtheParaCommandos.Butwhilethetanksmoved out,theGorkhasbringinguptherearcameunderfirefromfourtemplesdominatingthe mainroadcrossinginUramparai. Underordersnottofirebackattemples,theGorkhastriedtoclosein.Thebattalion adjutant,MajorN.J.D.SinghatoughManipuriwashitontheheadanddiedinstantly. Anothercompanycommander,MajorAnilGardnerhadtheentirefleshofhislegblownoff byaClaymoremine.MajorA.A.Verghesetheothercompanycommanderandtheonly Tamilspeakerinthewholeunit,wentintoahousefullofcryingwomenandchildrento comfortthem.Asheturnedtoleaveanoldwomanshothimintheback.Itbecame disastrous,whenLt.Col.I.B.S.Bawawasshotjustunderhisheart.Alongwiththeother woundedhewasmovedtoadriedupwell,theonlycoveravailable.Withthehelicopters unabletocomeinbecauseofwitheringfirethewoundedhadtowaitfortankstofighttheir waythrough.Bythetimetheymadeitat4:30p.m.,Lt.Col.Bawadied.OnlytwoOfficersin thebattalionsurvivedtroughthefighting,OnewasthesecondincommandMajorRandhir Singh. Theotherwasayoungsubaltern,Lt.RajSinha,whohadjoinedtheArmyin1984and experiencedthisbattleafterthreeyearsofservice.Lt.Sinhawasrunningfrompo sttopost seeingthatthewoundedweretakencareofandfightingwiththeLTTEwithwhateverwas leftofthebattalionalong,withbulletswhizzingpasthim,Hecouldneverimaginewhythe bulletswentpasthimwithouthittinghim.Withjustthesetwoofficersatthehelm,the battalionbecameunfitforfurtheroperationstillofficerreinforcementswereflownin. ElsewhereaBMP1ofthe72BrigadewithColonelD.S.Saraonwasblownbyamine killinghimandtheentirecomplementofninemen.TheIPKFwasforcedtoimproviseby havingitsofficersavoidpipsofranks,wearingslouchhatsandcarryoversizebackpacks. Asadvancesgotboggeddown,thebattalionsshouldhavetakenthetimetomanoeuvre aroundthedefenders.Instead,duetopressurefromNewDelhimoretroopswerethrown intothefurnace.ButtheminescontinuedtoharasstheIPKF.Frustrated,theIPKFcutoff powertoJaffnatocounterit. TocompoundtheIPKF'sproblems,itwasimpossibletodistinguishbetweentheTigers andcivilians.ManyatimestheywouldopenfireonaIPKFunit,hidetheirweaponsand mergewiththecivilians.SepoyGovindan,MadrasRegiment,says,"Itwasimpossibleto saywhowasaTigerandwhowasnot.Everyonemaleorfemaleabovetheageof10, couldbearmedanddangerous.Wesawlittlegirlsproducinggunsfromundertheirfrocks andshootingatus.Howdoyoufightthem?"TheturningpointcamewhenIMSF commandosbrokeoutofthebesiegedJaffnaportandclearedtheheavilymined NavanturaiCoastalRoad.Thisallowedthecruciallinkupbetween1MarathaLightInfantry inthefortunderColonelT.Brarandtheadvancingtroopsof41stBrigade.Thissealedoff theNallurarea.

IttooktwoweeksofbitterandhardfightingfortheIPKFtowrestJaffnaandothermajor citiesfromtheLTTE.UnfortunatelymanyoftheLTTEhadexfiltratedoutofJaffna.Allthis timetheMi25swerenotauthorisedtobeused.Finallyaspatienceranout,theorderto usethesepowerfulgunshipswasgiven.InitsdebutatattackingLTTEentrenchmentsin Chavakacheriitwasusedtodevastatingeffect.ForonlyahandfulofIPKFcasualties, ChavakacheriwaswrestedfromtheLTTE.Contrasttothe600+casualtiesinJaffna,this speaksmonumentsofthepoliticalleadershipofIndia.BatteredinJaffna,theLTTEfled southwards.Itshardcorefightersmovedtothesafetyofthejunglesbyskirtingthecoastof JaffnafromPointPedrotoElephantPass,shelteredbytheimpenetrablejunglesand criss crossedwaterwaysoftheNittkaikulamjungles. IndianSpecialMarineForce Onthemidnightof21October1987,anIndianNavydestroyermoored5milesoutside JaffnaHarbour.18menslippedoverthesidesintotwoGeminimotorisedassaultcraft. Cladinblackwetsuitswithlightsubmachineguns,underwaterexplosivesanddaggers strappedtotheirsidestheywereadeadlylot.EachGeminicrafttowedawoodenraft strappedwithmoreexplosives.Thetarget:thenarrow&heavilyminedchannelleadingto theGuruNagarjetty,thehubofLTTEsuppliestoJaffnacity.Inadditiontotheboobytraps, LTTEsnipersandmachinegunsoverlookedthechannelfromhighrisebuildingaroundit.

Thejourneytookthreepainstakinghoursastheyhadtopausetounhookthemines,every few,now&then.Onceinsighttheyswitchedtothewoodenraftsandpaddledsothat noiseoftheGeminicraftwouldnotgivethemaway.Oneteamattachedexplosivestothe jettywhiletheothersortedtheLTTE'sYamahamotorequipped35knotspeedboats. Whileplacingexplosivesontheboatstheywerespottedandcameunderahailof machinegunfire.Theyfiredbackatthetelltaleflashes.Withinfiveminutesthe2Gemini craftroaredbackintotheharbourandopenedupcoveringfire. Bydawn,the18menwerebackontheirmothershipwithnocasualties.Thiswasthe secondmissionofthenewestspecialforceoftheIndianArmedForces,theNavy'sIndian SpecialMarineForce.Patterned&initiallytrainedaftertheUSNavySeals,theysoon provedcapableoftakinganymissiononland,airorsea.Theirdebutoccurredafewdays before,whentheywereairdroppedinthebeleagueredJaffnaFort.Withthehelpof10 ParaCommando,theybrokeoutandclearedtheheavilyminedNavanturaiCoastalRoad, allthetimeunderconstantfirefromrooftopsandsniperpositions.Thisallowedthe cruciallinkupbetween1MarathaLightInfantryinthefortandtheadvancingelementsof 41stBrigade. ThreedaysaftertheJaffnalagoonraidtheywerebacktodestroytheremainingboats.This timetheyswamformorethanamileunderwatertoreachtheirtargets.Underfirethey sufferedafewwoundsbutmanagedtodestroytheremainingboats.Lt.ArvindSinghin chargeofallthreeraidswasawardedtheMVC(MahaVirChakra)forhisoutstanding performance.ThroughouttheIPKFoperations,theIMSFwasusedtolaunchraidsinthe areasborderingthelagoons.

cruciallinkupbetween1MarathaLightInfantryinthefortandtheadvancingelementsof 41stBrigade. ThreedaysaftertheJaffnalagoonraidtheywerebacktodestroytheremainingboats.This timetheyswamformorethanamileunderwatertoreachtheirtargets.Underfirethey sufferedafewwoundsbutmanagedtodestroytheremainingboats.Lt.ArvindSinghin chargeofallthreeraidswasawardedtheMVC(MahaVirChakra)forhisoutstanding performance.ThroughouttheIPKFoperations,theIMSFwasusedtolaunchraidsinthe areasborderingthelagoons. INDIANAIRFORCEINSRILANKA OntheaftermathofthedisastrousJaffnaUniversityattack,theIndianAirForcerealizedthe urgencyofbringinginmorefirepowertosupportArmyoperationsandSHBOactivities.The damagetotheMi8scouldhavebeenavoidediftherewasmorefirepowertosuppress groundfireandiftheHelicoptershadadditionalarmourtoprotectthemselves. No.125HelicopterSquadronunderWgCdrSCMalhanwassoundedouttomovesouthto takepartintheJaffnaOperations.ItisbelievedsixMi25swereinitiallyflowntoJaffnavery soonaftertheJaffnaHelidropOperation.ThedetachmentwasunderthecommandofSqn LdrRajbirSingh,whohadbeenwiththesquadronsinceOctober85. Thefirststrikemissionwasflownon26thOctoberoverJaffna.FltLtAtanuGuru,whohad onlyrecentlycompletedconversionflewthesortieovertheKaraitivuCausewaylinkingthe Jaffnapeninsula.Assoonashearrivedoverthecauseway,henoticedfivevehiclesofthe LTTEattemptingtofleetowardsKaraitivu.Itdidn'ttakemuchtimeforthe12.7mmbullets tofindtheirmark.GurudestroyedallthefivevansandseveralLTTEmilitantswerekilled. ThesecausalitieswerelaterconfirmedbyanIPKFgroundpartythatreachedthesitelater on. Thenextday,27thOctober,atwoshipmissionwasflowntothetownofChavakacheri,led bySqnLdrRajbirSingh.ItwasreportedthattheIndianArmyincurredtheleastlosses, thankstothedeploymentofairpower,buttheoperationwasnotwithoutcriticism.The attackfromtheairwaswitnessedinpersonbyIndiaTodaycorrespondent,Shyam Tekwani,whowascoveringtheconflictfromtheLTTE'side.Tekwanireportedthatseveral civilianswerecaughtupintheinitialattackandwerekilled.Thisdeploymentoftheattack helicopterswaslaterconfirmedbytheSouthernArmyCommander,LtGenDepinder Singh. TheActionatMulai On3rdNovember1987,1stParaCommandowastaskedtoadvancingagainstLTTE TargetsatMulai.No.125SquadrondispatchedtwoMi25sflownbySqnLdrRajbirSingh andFltLtAtanuGurutoflyaheadandstrikeatmilitantstrongholdsneartheplace.Rajbir arrivedovertheareaandfoundhimselfinthemidstofsomeheavymachinegunfire.He usedhisfrontguntohitthegroundtargetsinmultipleruns.TwoLTTEboatswere destroyedintheinitialattacks.WhiledoinghisthirdrunflyingagainstaMachinegun emplacement,hefelthisMi25shudderunderhitsfromtheground.Heimmediately pulledoutoftheattacktoassessthedamagetothishelicopter.Hefoundhisleftengine RPMhadfallenrapidlyandwasprobablydamaged.TheOilPressureintheenginehad alsofallenrapidlyindicatingaheavyoilleak. Rajbirimmediatelyswitchedofftheportengineandcommencedhisreturnflighttobase. Hehadachoiceofjettisoningallhisarmamentstores therocketpodsunderthestub wingswhichstillhadafewrocketsinthem,butchosenottodosoasthestoreswouldfall inrebelcapturedarea.Flyingwiththerelativelyheavypayloadonasingleenginewould putenormousstressontheaircraft.Aforcedlandingwouldmeanthattheaircraftandthe aircrewwillfallinthemilitanthands.ForRajbir,thechoicewasclear,hecoaxedthe aircraftbacktoJaffnawhereheboughtintheaircraftdowntoasmoothrollinglanding. SubsequentinspectionrevealedthattheR/Tsystemwasalsoknockedoutbytheground fire. MeanwhileacallwasreceivedbyabeleaguereddetachmentoftheParaCommandos whocameunderwitheringfirefromtheLTTEpositions.AtanuGuruwhowasleftholding thefortafterRajbirsdepartureassessedthesituation.TheParacommandoswerehardly threehundredmetersawayfromtheLTTEpositions.Therewouldbenoroomforerror.As hecameintoattackthegroundpositions,theLTTEmilitantsdirectedaheavystreamof antiaircraftfireathim.Ignoringthestreaksoftracercominguptohim,Gurucontinued firinghisforwardgunintotheenemypositions.Themilitantsfirewasnomatchforthe batteringtheygotfromtheMi25sweapons.Theysoonwithdrewfromtheirpositions.Guru hadusedupnearlyathousandroundsinhisattack. ThecloseairsupportfromRajbirsandGuru'sMi 25swassoeffectivethat1Parawas abletoovercometheLTTEpositions.Theymanagedtocaptureaflagbelongingtothe LTTEwhichwassenttoNo.125Squadronasatokenofappreciation. Itisestimatedthatduringthe20daysfrom11to31Octobersome2,200tacticaltransport and800assaulthelicoptersortieswerecarriedouttoflyintroops,weapons,vehicles, storesandvariousotherequipment,primarilytoPalalyandChinaBayairfieldsinnorthern andeasternSriLankafrombasesinsouthernIndia,andtoflyoutthemountingcasualties tomilitaryhospitalsoftheSouthernCommand.Inaddition,Boeing737swereemployed fortrooptransport,throwingcommercialschedulesoutofgearformanydays. FallofJaffna IttooktwoweeksofbitterfightingfortheIPKFtowrestcontrolofJaffnaandothertowns fromthemilitarycontroloftheLTTE.DuringthesecondhalfofOctober1987theIndianAir Forcecarriedoutmoretransportandhelicoptersortiesinsupportofthegroundforces thanatanysimilarperiodoftimeinthehistoryofthecountry'sarmedforces.TheMi 25 gunshipswereemployedtointerdictthemovementofmilitantsfromtheJaffnaPeninsula totheneighbouringislandsandmainlandofSriLanka.TheLTTEhadattemptedtobring inreinforcementsofpersonnelandlogisticsandhadlateronexfiltrateditscadresfrom Jafna,andtheMi25swereusedinthelagoonareastodestroymilitantboatsand vehicles. InthewordsofLieutenantGeneralDepinderSingh,"Weusedhelicoptersforcarrying troopsbutwhentheycameundersniperfirewehadtobringdownsuppressivefirein turn."ThefirstuseofMi25sforcloseairsupportwason29OctoberwhenMi25sattacked LTTEentrenchmentsintheChavakacheriarea,32kmeastofJaffna,withrocketand cannonfire,enablingthe11thand12thMadrasbattalionstooverwhelmthelast resistanceandeffectalinkup.Inanotheraction,Mi8helicoptersflewinpara commandoestoareasonthewesternpartofthepeninsulaandontoislandstoengage

Jafna,andtheMi25swereusedinthelagoonareastodestroymilitantboatsand vehicles. InthewordsofLieutenantGeneralDepinderSingh,"Weusedhelicoptersforcarrying troopsbutwhentheycameundersniperfirewehadtobringdownsuppressivefirein turn."ThefirstuseofMi25sforcloseairsupportwason29OctoberwhenMi25sattacked LTTEentrenchmentsintheChavakacheriarea,32kmeastofJaffna,withrocketand cannonfire,enablingthe11thand12thMadrasbattalionstooverwhelmthelast resistanceandeffectalinkup.Inanotheraction,Mi8helicoptersflewinpara commandoestoareasonthewesternpartofthepeninsulaandontoislandstoengage LTTEstrongholds.Mi25spatrollingthePointPedroVadamarachchiandtheMoolai TelliapalliroadsdestroyedanumberofLTTEvehicles,fromMannertoMullaitivuand ElephantPasstoVavuniya.Astheoperationsprogressed,itbecameclearthattheLTTE wasconcentratingitselfintheNittikaikulamareasinceitwasproximatetotheeastern seaboard,whoselagoonsandrivuletstheLTTEknewthoroughlyandfromwhereit receivedsupplies.Theseincludedthelatestweaponry,aswellascommunications equipmenttocontrolitsfarflungcadres. ShiftingtotheJungles WiththeLTTEslippingintothejunglestheoverstretchedIPKFbegantobuildupforthe longhaulahead.The36thInfantryDivisionalongwith2additionalbrigadeswasbrought in.IttookoverresponsibilityfortheTrincomaleeBatticaloaandVavuniyasectorswhile the54thDivisionconsolidatedinJaffna.TheninFeb88the4thMountainDivisionand57 InfantryDivisioncameinandtookoverVanniandBatticaloasectorsfromthe36th.The Jaffnasectorwasthesmallest,about60kmby30km)withapopulationof200,000.About 16to20battalionswereemployedinthissector.Thenbeganthedailyritualsofmineand IEDexplosions,unearthingofarmsandshootoutswithgroupsofLTTEmen.Thetownof JaffnawasunderthechargeofBrigadierManjitSingh.Atoughandtemperamental individual,hewouldleadsomeofhisoperationsfromaBMP. HisimpatiencewithhiscommandledhimtosacktwoofhisCOs,hisBrigadeMajorand hisSignalOfficer.Buthispersonalbraveryanddynamismwasbeyondreproachandwas laterdecoratedwiththeMVC.HeheldJaffnawellalthoughtherewasalwaystensioninthe town.WhenhisBrigadewaspulledoffthetaskwaspassedontoBrigadierJSDhillon.A manoffewwordsDhillonmovedinquickly.Heusedhisforcesintelligentlyconstantly thinkingofchanges.Smallunitsscurriedaroundthetowninvans,cycles,mopedsand autos.Theywouldscurryacrossbackyardsandoverwallsconstantlychangingtheir directions.Sometimes3to4columnswouldmoveinparallelinoppositedirections, lashingoutLTTEhideoutsandalsobeingabletoprovidecoveringfire.Hemadegood useoftheBMPstokeeptheEasternCoastalrouteclear. TheVadarmachitownwasheldbyBrigadierSamayRam.Hewasaverycalmmantotally unperturbed.Hewasahardthinkerandwasabletosimulatethesameinhis subordinates.WhenhismenwereattackedfromtheNallurKandsawamytemplehe refusedtoattackitbackbecauseof30000civilianrefugeesinthetemplepremises.The standoffwasresolvedwhentheLTTEkeepinginmindciviliancasualtieschooseto withdraw.Ahugecacheofarmsandammunitionwasfoundinthetempleco TotakefulladvantageofFlickr,youshoulduseaJavaScript enabledbrowserand installthelatestversionoftheMacromediaFlashPlayer.

Comments
CaptainSuresh says:
Excellentimage!Welldone.Thanksforsharing.Iwastherefor18months. Posted19monthsago.(permalink)

'SouthAsianForeignRelations'
Thanksforthecomments.
Posted19monthsago.(permalink)

says:

shammie

says:

ThistimewewilldestroyentireLTTLterroristcarders Forthemomentsjustseethefollowingmap: www.cyberlk.com/defencemap/ Posted15monthsago.(permalink)

erommelsays:
IPKF(namenotsuitableforwhattheydid)killed6000TamilSriLankan civiliansand2000LTTErsin19871990.Mostofkillingshappenedin1987 duetoheavyartilleryusage.NottomentionJaffna HospitalMassacreand ValvettithuraiMassacrecarriedoutbyIPKF.FewthousandIndiansoldiersdied too,intheendformerPrimeMinisterRajivGandhidiedtoo.Nobodywon, everybodylost.OnlyTamilNaduregimentfaredwellinSriLanka. Posted11monthsago.(permalink)

erommelsays:
AnothermeaningforIPKFInnocentPeopleKillingForces(Onethatisusedin SriLankaanyway).IPKFfaredwellinrapingwomenandinsomecasesmen (arrestedLTTEcadres).IndianstateofTamilNaduchiefministerrefusedto receivereturningIPKFsoldierstoTamilNaduharboursin1990.Massacres andrapesthathappeninKashmirbytheIndiansoldiersishardlysurprising. Posted11monthsago.(permalink)

prchansays:
InnocentPeopleRapingForceshouldbemuchapt!! Posted5monthsago.(permalink)

at6070says:
indianarmyonlyfightwithltte,somalia,likepersons,ifchina,pakindiaget backjustlike9's Posted2monthsago.(permalink)

prchansays:
InnocentPeopleRapingForceshouldbemuchapt!! Posted5monthsago.(permalink)

at6070says:
indianarmyonlyfightwithltte,somalia,likepersons,ifchina,pakindiaget backjustlike9's Posted2monthsago.(permalink)

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