R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, June 8 – The militants using the territory of Myanmar as safe haven for years may face operations soon as the President of the country has reportedly directed the army to take action against them. The change of stand of the Government of Myanmar came after the recent visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to that country where liberal financial assistance to Myanmar was also promised.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the Government of India is keeping a close watch on the situation as the Government of Myanmar promised to take action against the militants using the territory of that country to launch tirade against India.
Sources said that the Myanmar Army has also given a deadline to the militants to vacate their camps and to move out of Myanmar and “according to intelligence inputs, the army of the neighbouring country had asked the militant groups to leave their weapons behind so that those can be shown as recovered when the camps are destroyed”.
Though the Myanmar Army signed a cease-fire pact with the NSCN (K), the Government of India objected to the same and the matter has been “corrected”. Thus, the NSCN (K) will also face problems if the Government of Myanmar decides to launch a full-scale operation. Moreover, the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has been maintaining its camps and bases in Myanmar with the help of the NSCN (K) and they will also face problems if such operations are launched.
Sources said that the recent stand of the Government of Myanmar has created ripples among the leaders of the militant groups having camps in that country. The recent intercepts by the security forces also indicated that the leaders of the hardline faction of the ULFA are also very much apprehensive of such an operation. In fact, Paresh Baruah, the leader of the hardline faction of the ULFA apprehended trouble long back and he had discussions with his close aides in this regard even when the visit of Dr Singh to Myanmar was finalized, sources added.
According to an estimate of the security forces, the total strength of the militants should not be more than 3,000, which include members of the ULFA, Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB, several groups of Manipur and NSCN (K), which has the strongest presence in Myanmar among all the Indian militant groups.