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Indian Para Troopers Brutally Killed by LTTE Remembered

[2013-02-23 17:30:45]

Indian High Commissioner in Colombo His Excellency Ashok K. Kantha in the company of Commander Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe on Saturday (23) paid floral tribute to valiant Indian para troopers killed by the LTTE during Indian Peace Keeping mission in Sri Lanka.

Wreaths of flowers were placed by the Indian High Commissioner and Commander SF – J at the foot of the monument erected close to the Palaly Air Force base where 33 para troopers of the 10th Para Regiment were laid after they were brutally killed by the LTTE during heli-landing to the ground of University of Jaffna on 11th October 1987. The emotional moment of remembering Indian war heroes who laid their lives for the sake of territorial integrity of their friendly neighboring nation was marked observing a one minute silence followed by paying floral tribute.

The heli-borne assault on the Jaffna University was one significant phase of the battle code named “Operation Pawan” on the night of 11 October 1987. Aim of this commando raid was to capture the top LTTE leadership and local commanders who were operating inside the University building at the time of the raid, according to Indian Intelligence. However, the information of the planned heli-borne assault of para troopers who were subsequently to link up with Gorkhas of 72 Brigade and the advancing Sikh Light Infantry leaked when the LTTE intercepted their communication. Thus thirty three para troopers including Lieutenant Colonel A.K. Chhabra fell victim to LTTE indiscriminate fire halfway their landing. Firing at para troopers before their landing was a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention passed in 1949.

IPKF troops arrived in the island on Peace Keeping mission in conformity with Indo - Lanka Peace Accord. However, their peace keeping mission turned to a full-blown battle with the LTTE after the latter violated the provisions of the Peace Accord. The LTTE’s cruelty went to the extent of assassination of the then Indian Premier Hon. Rajeev Gandhi in a suicide attack.

Mrs. Shamila Kantha, Indian Consulate in Jaffna Mr. Mahalingam, Officials of Indian High Commission in Colombo, members of the tri forces and Police attended the Saturday’s function held at monument at Palaly.

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