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Tamil Civil War
Chemical weapon1

May 7, 1993


June 4, 1993


Tamil Nadu


Nationalist victory, Rebels completely defeated.

Major battles:

Sack of Ambattur, Battles of Chennai, Porur, Mariana Beach, Kovur, and Velachery (not chronological).


Nationalist (Govt Forces)

Rebels hoping for independence, various local conscripts, the Coalition for Autonomy.


M. G. Ramachandran, TP Mohideen Khan

V.R. Nedunchezhiyan


14,400 troops, 46 armored vehicles and tanks, two helicopters (Krishna class), four Arjun-class frigates.

21,100 troops, 22 makeshift armored trucks, some 24 fishing boats used for transport.

Casualties and Losses

1800 dead, 2000-3000 injured, one helicopter downed, six vehicles destroyed.

7400 dead or injured seriously, 12 trucks destroyed, nine captured (the last one was never recovered. it is assumed that the rebels destroyed it to prevent the government to use it)


By 1993, India had been torn into several nations. Among the strongest was Tamil Nadu, but within Tamil Nadu were a large group of rebels, aided by the starving population. In 1993, especially, a large drought had led to a famine in spring, with people barely being able to eat. This grew to a head on May 5th, when a soldier beat a worker in a factory to death for fainting due to lack of food. After a day of unrest, several people, including government official VR Neduncheziyan, who later became head of the Coalition for Autonomy, led a mission to raid five government armories and arm the population. All five raids were captured successfully (a sixth was attempted, but failed), and many people in the area were told that the government was hiding food from them. Thus incited, the stage was set for the rebellion.

The War Begins: May 7- 13

On May 7th, the Coalition for Autonomy began handing out arms and basic rations to people in the area of Ambattur, which was hardest hit by the drought and famine. Approximately 13,000 people showed up. At the same time, sleeper cells of the Coalition began grouping together, arming, and moving towards Ambattur and Velachery. In Velachery, another 4000 were recruited, bringing the total by the 10th (including the already trained CFA troops) to 20,500.

On the 11th, the first skirmish occurred, as some 600 CFA troops hidden in the crowd attacked a government parade. Just three of them were caught by the government. Meanwhile, nearly 20 soldiers and 15 civilians had been killed, with another 46 injured. The same day, the former CFA leader was killed when his pistol misfired and hit him in the collarbone, severing his sub clavicle artery. His second in command, VR Nenduncheziyian, took over smoothly.

On the 12th, an immediate government order was sent out, mobilizing all troops in the Velachery, Ambattur and Porur areas. The total came to around 10,000 troops, but as the rebellion was seen as a mere local uprising, it was thought that that would be enough. The government was unaware of the training exercises that the CFA had been leading the troops in. As a result they thought they would be facing unarmed rabble, instead of armed and (slightly) trained troops.

On the 13th, the first real battle took place. Some 500 CFA troops went to Anna Nagar. Their recruitment drives had gone badly there, as it had barely suffered from the famine and drought, and as a result, almost no one went with them. In fact the Government forces were called down on them, inflicting heavy casualties. This was intended to punish them for that, as well as to secure funds and men by looting and conscripting. However, the government had expected such an attempt and positioned some 1,500 in the area. When the CFA troops arrived, they found themselves surrounded - attacked from behind by two forces of 300, and held in front by one force of 900. Unable to escape, they were slaughtered, just 230 making it out alive. However, as the government forces harried them through their retreat they, too, were surrounded by other CFA troops, losing about 100 men total.

Early Stages: May 14- 21

The war began in earnest following the CFA attacks on Anna Nagar, when a division of Government forces was trapped in

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