Halt India-US military exercises in Mizoram: CPI-M

August 2nd, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Aug 2 (IANS) The Tripura unit of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Saturday asked the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to halt the India-US joint military exercise at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Mizoram. “The CPI-M is against any kind of military exercises with imperialist forces like the US,” said Gautam Das, spokesman of the CPI-M Tripura unit.

Indian and American armed forces Saturday have begun joint maneuvres on counter-terrorism in Mizoram. The three week-long ‘Operation Vajraprahar’ will be the fourth round of joint exercises between the special forces of the two countries.

A batch of 30 American special forces personnel arrived in Mizoram to take part in the exercise, which would be held at the army’s well-known Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare Schoolat Vairangte, about 100 km from Mizoram capital Aizawl.

“The US forces are condemned by the world community for their role in Iraq and hence India should not undertake any kind of joint exercises,” the CPI-M leader said.

Earlier the Assam unit of the CPI-M had also made a similar appeal to the central government to halt the joint military exercises with US forces.

The 30 US soldiers are from the Special Forces or the Green Berets, tasked with eight primary missions - unconventional warfare, foreign internal defence, special reconnaissance, direct action, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, psychological operations and information operations.

The school at Vairengte is considered one of the world’s most prestigious anti-terrorist institutions with troops from several countries getting counter-insurgency training. About 250 American soldiers have already undergone training at Vairengte in the last four years.

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