New Delhi: On the 4th of June 1987, India stopped the siege of Jaffna by the Sri Lankan army. It was a humanitarian intervention but also a symbolic gesture.
And the Sri Lankan president Jayewardene took this action as a military one, calling it “a naked violation of our independence”.
Allegedly he threatened to fight Indians till the last bullet, but actually he sought to find an agreement with Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Jaffna was at the time under blockade by Sri Lankan troops as a part of Colombo's offensive against the Tamil separatist movement.
As civilian casualties grew, calls grew within India to intervene in what was increasingly seen in Tamil media as a developing humanitarian crisis, especially with reports of aerial bombardment against rebel positions in civilian areas.
The day was June 3rd, 1987, and the place was the Maharajpur Air Force Station near Gwalior.
Home to the two elite Mirage 2000 Squadrons of the Indian Air Force, Maharajpur was one of the key airbases of Central Air Command.