New Delhi: The Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and the central armed police forces (CAPFs) have concluded a 10-day joint training exercise named “Trishakri Prahar” (three-force strike) in the strategically important “Siliguri Corridor”, also known as the “Chicken’s Neck”, in north Bengal, on Tuesday. The exercise was aimed at testing the joint operational readiness of the various forces and the synergy between them in a networked environment.
The drill, which took place at different locations in north Bengal, involved Army and CAPF troops, tanks, infantry vehicles, artillery guns, Rafale fighter jets, helicopters, and other newly introduced modern weapons systems started on January 21. Among the CAPFs, troops from the Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, and the Saashtra Seema Bal participated in the exercise.
Apart from the armed forces and the CAPFs, agencies, like the civil administration, civil defence organizations, and the police were involved to ensure efficient movement of troops and equipment and their quick mobilization.
On the last day of the exercise, the forces conducted an integrated firepower exercise in Teesta Field Firing Ranges.
In a statement, the defence establishment said, “The firepower exercise was aimed at synergizing the firepower assets of the Indian armed forces and CAPFs to orchestrate an integrated battle.”
The Chicken’s Neck is a stretch of land around the city of Siliguri in West Bengal, which is 20–22 kilometres at the narrowest section. It shares borders with Nepal and Bhutan in the north and Bangladesh in the south. It is also very close to the India-Tibet-Bhutan trijunction at the Doklam plateau, where Indian and Chinese troops saw a stand-off for over 70 days on Bhutanese territory in 2017.
The security threat to the Siliguri Corridor was heightened during the Doklam stand-off raising concerns about the prospect of China cutting of India’s northeastern states by dominating the narrow strip of land. With China taking an aggressive posture along the line of control in recent, this exercise is seen in the light of India’s stepped-up alert and preparedness for any eventuality.