Fund flow to NE ultras squeezed


GUWAHATI, MARCH 20: Flow of weapons to the militant organizations of the Northeast has come down drastically as most of these outfits are facing severe financial crunch, while, the Government of India has been providing funds to Arunachal Pradesh to increase the strength of its police force, particularly in the districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding to check movement of militants through those areas.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune here that almost all the militant outfits of the region are facing severe financial crunch as the flow of funds have been squeezed and the operations by Myanmar Army has also left them in disarray. Sources said that it would be difficult for the ultra groups to sustain if they totally lose their bases in Myanmar as they have already lost ground in Bhutan and Bangladesh. There have been reports that there are a few hideouts of the ultra groups of Northeast in the Chittagong Hill Tracks (CHT) area of Bangladesh, but there is no organized camp in that country.
There was a time when the militant groups of Northeast used to procure weapons in huge consignments. But the situation has completely changed in recent times and the outfits of Northeast are only procuring weapons in small numbers from the ethnic insurgent groups of Myanmar. Moreover, the outfits also lost a sizeable number of sophisticated weapons during the recent raids by Myanmar Army.
Admitting that lack of adequate security in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts is a matter of concern as the militants are using the areas as transit routes to come to India from Myanmar, while, there are some bases of the militants in the area, sources said that efforts are on to increase the strength of Arunachal Pradesh police force in those areas. “Capacity building takes time and the Government of India has been helping Arunachal Pradesh to set up new police stations in the area and to equip the police force with modern weapons,” sources said. Thick forest cover in the area also affected counter insurgency operations in the area.
However, the strength of the Army, Assam Rifles and Central forces has been increased with additional deployment. After reports of about 50 youths joining the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) during the movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the Government of India took steps for increasing coordination between the forces operating along the areas in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh and Assam-Nagaland border areas, which started showing results and the activities and movement of the militants has come down.
On the present location of ULFA (I) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, sources said that according to information available, he is staying mostly in Ruili area in the Yunan province of China with a handful of his loyalists. A few other leaders of other militant groups are also reportedly staying in China. The Government of India has already provided China with the information about the location of Paresh Baruah but till date, no action has been taken by the Chinese authorities. “So far, China has been claiming that their agencies could not find the militant leaders in the addresses provided by India,” sources added. (Courtesy: AT)