R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, June 20 – Though the Government of Myanmar assured to take action against the militants taking shelter in that country, the militants are yet to face the heat and there has been no report of shifting of camps by the ultras of the North East.
During the recent visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the Government of Myanmar assured to take stern action against the ultras taking shelter in that country, but according to information available with the security agencies, no action has yet been initiated on the ground. The visit of Dr Singh and subsequent assurance by the president of Myanmar caused some concern among the militant groups, but they have not yet shifted camps, sources added.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that some of the militant groups having camps in Myanmar have contacts in the lower level of Myanmar Army personnel and there have been specific instances when the ultras received prior information about Army movements.
On the strength of the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in Myanmar, security sources revealed that though the NSCN (K) is under a cease-fire agreement with the Government of India, the ULFA is maintaining its bases with the help of the Naga outfit. Moreover, a number of smaller groups of the hardline faction of the ULFA have managed to sneak into India and are trying to indulge in sabotage.
Sources said that though the Myanmar Army launched sporadic operations against the militants from time to time, the militant groups using the area as safe haven did not suffer any major loss. Not even a single important member of the hardline faction of the ULFA has been arrested in those operations, sources added.
Sources said that according to information available with the security agencies, the military mobile headquarter of the outfit is located in the Taga area and the headquarter is surrounded by smaller camps. Leaders like Jiban Moran and Bijoy Das alias Bijoy Chinese stay in the Taga camps regularly, while, Paresh Baruah comes to the area from time to time. Baruah normally spends most of his time in Ruili in Myanmar-China border. At least 80 new recruits of the ULFA are now undergoing training in the MMHQ, sources added.
The second major camp of the ULFA is called the Naga base camp, which is now headed by Bikash Gogain, while, around 30 members of the outfit are now staying in the Aarakan camp, located near the first battalion Naga camp. Hardcore member Himalaya Tau is heading the 28 battalion camp of the ULFA and the total strength in the camp should not be more than 30 at present, sources added. The ULFA also has several smaller bases in Myanmar.
Sources said that it would not be possible for the ULFA to maintain the camps in Myanmar without the help of the NSCN(K) and the Government should take up the issue with the leaders of the outfit, which is under cease-fire agreement.
Meanwhile, several groups of ULFA members have managed to sneak into Assam with the mandate of indulging in acts of violence. However, several attempts of the ULFA to indulge in major acts of violence were foiled with the recovery of explosives planted on oil and gas pipelines. The intercepts by the security forces in recent times indicated that the senior leaders of the outfit are “very unhappy” with the cadres for their failure to make their presence felt with acts of violence, sources added.
Several hardcore members of the ULFA including Rashid Bharali, Akan Gogoi, Raktajit Hazarika and others have already in Assam heading small groups in parts of upper Assam, while, Nayan Medhi is in Majuli area.
Another senior leader Drishti Rajkhowa is in Garo hills area in Meghalaya along with GNLA cadres and it is reported that he often crosses over to Bangladesh.