GUWAHATI, SEPTEMBER 25: Facing pressure from the operations launched by Myanmar Army, a number of members of the militant groups of Northeast have moved closer to the international border areas and there is possibility of them coming over ground in the days to come. The security agencies are also trying to encourage the militants to come over ground with the help of their family members.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the camps of the militant groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (S) in Myanmar were taken over by the Army of the neighbouring country, forcing the militants to take shelter in the Naga villages across the international border. The Myanmar Army launched the offensive on January 29 to evict the camps of the militants in Taga area and operations are still on to flush out the militants.
Sources said that according to inputs available with the security agencies, a good number of militants have moved closer to the international border and efforts are on to make them come overground. The militants, who got in touch with their family members, have been persuaded to surrender and the efforts are bringing desired results as more than 50 members of the ULFA (I) and NDFB (S) have surrendered following the Myanmar Army crackdown and security agencies are of the view that more surrenders are likely within a short period of time.
Though the exact number of militants staying in Myanmar has not been ascertained, it is suspected that total number of ULFA (I) cadres in the neighbouring country at this moment should be around a hundred and that of NDFB (S) is around 50 or so. Recruitment of new cadres has almost been stopped, while, senior members of the outfits are not issuing weapons to the cadres fearing that they may manage to cross the border and surrender with weapons. Security agencies also feel that substantial number of weapons of the militants was seized by Myanmar Army but that figure has not yet been shared with India.
Sources said that most of the operations by Myanmar Army were concentrated in the areas where the NSCN (K), ULFA (I) and NDFB (S) had their camps and till date, no major offensive has been launched in the areas across Manipur and that is why, Manipuri militant groups have not suffered serious setbacks so far. The Government of India hopes that Myanmar Army would launch strong operations in those areas too shortly.
Meanwhile, porous international border with Myanmar remains a cause of concern and though Assam Rifles has been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border, in some places, the camps of the force are located deep inside Indian territory. The Assam Rifles is also not in a position to deploy personnel closer to the border because of lack of infrastructure. (Courtesy: AT)