Indian rebel outfits regrouping in Myanmar again

Rajeev Bhattacharyya
Contd from previous issue
There were some indications in this regard in the latest issue of ULFA-I’s mouthpiece, “Swadhinata“ (Independence), which was mailed to media houses in December last year.
The development has triggered concerns in New Delhi as it could mean a renewed phase of insurgent activity in the region.
On December 22-23, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited Myanmar. The visit, which was the first by an Indian official to Myanmar since the military coup in February last year, saw Shringla raising India’s security concerns in the wake of a recent militant attack in India’s North East.
On November 14, militants belonging to the proscribed People’s Liberation Army ambushed and killed six personnel of the Assam Rifles, including a commanding officer, in Manipur bordering Myanmar. Within hours of the ambush, the killers scampered to their camps across the border in Myanmar, beyond the range of the Indian security forces.
In Myanmar, India’s Foreign Secretary emphasized the need to put an end to violence and maintain peace and stability in the border region. Both sides reiterated their commitment to ensure that their respective territories would not be allowed to be used for any activities inimical to the other.
In previous meetings as well over the past many years, the Tatmadaw had assured as much to India but precious little had been done about the rebel camps or the smuggling of contraband items such as drugs, gold, areca nuts, and fake currency.
Operation Sunrise was an exception. It was launched within six months of Myanmar army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s visit to India in July 2018, when an agreement on a joint operation against the militant outfits
On December 17, Myanmar authorities handed over five PLA functionaries to Indian authorities. Speculation was rife in some circles that the five militants were involved in the ambush in Manipur in November, but it turned out that the rebels had been arrested in August on other charges and imprisoned in Mandalay before being repatriated to India.
Courtesy The Diplomat