South Asia and Beyond

The Strategic Significance of Vijaynagar: Northeast’s ‘Siachen’

Vijaynagar, Arunachal Pradesh: In the second of our series, ‘East of the Northeast’, Lieutenant General P.C. Nair, Director General, Assam Rifles in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi in Vijaynagar, one of the easternmost inhabited areas in India.

The head of the oldest paramilitary organisation in the country flies on board an IAF Chinook helicopter with the SNG team of Amitabh P. Revi and Rohit Pandita to Vijaynagar, and explains the strategic significance of the salient on the India-Myanmar border, pointing out, “everyone knows what happened in Siachen where we preempted the Pakistanis by twenty four hours (with later) General Sanjay Kulkarni, then company commander. Here (later) General Guraya’s party preempted the Chinese by about a week. So a week later if we were not here, not only the Chinese but also Kachin rebels, who are being tutored by the Chinese or a mix of both would have been here. Today, we wouldn’t have been here if Gen Guraya’s party hadn’t reached here in December 1961.” Lt Gen Nair adds, “why this 730 square kilometers is very important is, from this you get an approach to the southern banks of Brahmaputra. What that means is from here, you would head straight to Dibrugarh, Jorhat and onwards to Guwahati. There is absolutely no need of crossing the Brahmaputra. So just imagine a scene where you have troops deployed along the northern borders, along the higher reaches of Arunachal. But, what if, right behind on the southern bank, somebody just comes in, so there lies the significance of this.”

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

Watch this interview for more, on location in Vijaynagar, near the India-Myanmar border

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