SHILLONG, Aug 4 – Despite cooperation at the government-level, Myanmar’s security forces are finding it difficult to contain insurgents at the ground-level creating serious security implications in India, the Assam Rifles said today.
“The government of India and Myanmar are cooperating to fight insurgents. But they (Mynmarese security force) are finding it difficult to convert this cooperation into action at the ground-level,” AR’s Director General, Lt Gen, Rameshwar Roy said here. He was responding to the recent blast at Imphal, Manipur and the AR’s operations to counter insurgency.
After operating freely and organising themselves in Myanmar, Northeast-based insurgent outfits just have to sneak into India through the 1643-km long hostile and unfenced Indo-Myanmar International border running along Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Assam Rifles (AR) patrols this long unfenced border. But frequent infiltration of insurgents groups like United National Liberation Front, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (K & I-M) and others from Myanmar has raised questions on AR’s border patrolling ability.
However, the AR not only guards the Indo-Myanmar border, but is actively involved in counter-insurgency operations too. Thirty-one out of its 45 battalions are deployed in counter-insurgency operations, mostly in insurgency-ravaged Manipur. Presently, just 15 battalions can be spared to patrol the hostile Indo-Myanmar border.
Therefore, the AR has asked the Centre to raise additional battalions, so that gaps in the International border could be plugged. A decision is pending with the Home Ministry (HM) to raise 26 additional battalions to guard this vulnerable border, infamous for infiltrations, smuggling of drugs, arms, timber, fake currency and gems. “Discussions are on to raise these additional battalions,” Lt Gen Roy said.
He, however, informed that an Inspector General Headquarters at Silchar (Assam) and three Sector Command Headquarters at Dimapur (Nagaland), Haflong (Assam) and Senapati (Manipur) would be created.