R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, May 19 - After occupying the camps of the militant groups of North East, the Myanmar Army has launched a fresh operation to flush out the ultras from the territory of that country. Meanwhile, the Government of China has so far been denying the fact that the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah is in that country.
Highly placed sources in the Government of India told The Assam Tribune that the Myanmar Army launched a fresh operation on May 17 to flush out the militants of North East from the territory of that country. The Myanmar Government has informed India about the plan chalked out in this regard and Army personnel would be ready to stay in the areas along the international border for a long period of time, if required, to flush out the militants. “The Government of India has been informed that Myanmar Army personnel have been directed to stay in that area for four to five months, if required, to ensure that members of the militant groups are driven out of the country,” sources added.
Sources said over the years, members of the militant groups of North East were staying in Myanmar with the help of the NSCN (K). The NSCN (K) has already signed a ceasefire agreement with the Myanmar Army and the headquarters of the outfit along with the camps of other militants groups were taken over by the Myanmar Army early this year. The Myanmar Army reportedly agreed to allow NSCN (K) members to stay in Myanmar in a separate place with the condition that the outfit would not allow any member of other militant groups to stay there, sources added. The Government of Myanmar has also been putting pressure on the NSCN (K) to sign the national ceasefire agreement signed by a number of other Myanmar-based ultra groups.
Sources revealed that though members of other militant outfits are staying in jungles and Naga inhabited villages in Myanmar, the Army personnel of that country are making serious effort to trace them out and the Government of Myanmar has assured India that all out efforts would be made to flush out all the members of the militant groups. Sources also pointed out that it would not be possible for the militants to stay in dense forests because of logistical problems and they would have to stay closer to human habitation. In such circumstances, it would be easier for the Myanmar Army to launch the operation.
Meanwhile, though China has signed an agreement with India to ensure each other’s cooperation in dealing with terrorism, the government of that country has not yet accepted the fact that Paresh Baruah mostly stays in China. “The Indian agencies have submitted details of the addresses where Paresh Baruah has been staying in China, but so far, the government of that country has been denying the fact,” sources added.
It may be mentioned here that the militants of the North East including those belonging to the ULFA (I) were totally caught off guard when they had to vacate the camps in Taga area of Myanmar early this year and they had to scatter to different places in small groups. The militants did not offer resistance as they were told by the NSCN (K) leaders not to do so and the camps were occupied by the Myanmar Army personnel.