`Operation Cactus’, the most difficult India’s air-born operation in Maldives, has demonsrated India’s unparalal military and diplomatic skills to the world and it has showcased India as an emerging Regional Power, observed Group Captain Ashok K Chordia (rtd), who was part of the operation and author of book “Operation Cactus”.
Speaking at a programme organised by Social Cause, Hyderabad, to mark the 30th anniversary of the operation and release of the book, Ashok K Chordia said that the decision to launch an airborne operation from Agra, more than 2500 kms away in the Maldives was a difficult politico-military choice.
Stating that it was one of courageous military operation in the world history, he said even US, China and Pakistan forces, who were close to Maldives than Indian army, hesitated to take up the task.
He said that Indian army took up this task without maps, with little intelligence and the notice was short. Recalling that this operation was taken up to defuse a coup attempt in the Maldives by Abdullah Luthufee, a Maldivian businessmen against President Abdul Gayoom, who was hiding, he said that it has enhanced India’s will power in such acts.
While other major armies took time to decide, within 24 hours Indian troops landed there with concrete action and rescued President Gayoom, even before rebels were to find his location. The advice and the confidence of the military leadership enabled the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to give a `go ahead’, he added.
Referring that how quick they were to act, he said even ammunition distribution and briefing of the plan was done only while going in an air craft. He said that Indian army has accomplished apparently an impossible operation and could catch all the rebels.
Dr Indira Parthasarathy, former principal, Kakatiya Media College, said that the operation has revealed the extraordinary capabilities of our air force and navy. It was technically very challenges one, she added
Lt. Gen K Ramachandra Rao said that the operation has put the nation on world map and our men succeeded under very difficult situation. Maj Gen K Bapaiah, Wg Cdr Unni Karatha and Social Cause president Dr Somaraju Suseela also spoke.