Goaded by Delhi, Yangon hunts Northeast rebels

As New Delhi keeps up pressure on Yangon, the Myanmar Army is giving sleepless nights to militant groups from Northeast India operating out of the neighbouring country.

Published: 18th May 2019 09:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2019 09:41 AM   |  A+A-

Jahnabi Saikia, an Assamese actress accused in the May 15 Guwahati grenade blast case, being produced in a court in Guwahati on Friday | PTI

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: As New Delhi keeps up pressure on Yangon, the Myanmar Army is giving sleepless nights to militant groups from Northeast India operating out of the neighbouring country.

The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), People’s Liberation Army etc. are feeling the heat as the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) is conducting raids in northern provinces and the Indian security forces are firming up patrolling in border areas of the Northeast.

Ever since the operations were launched in February this year, a number of rebel camps have been run over and an unspecified number of rebels has been killed or apprehended. In the wake of the operations, the militants are virtually getting sandwiched, as evident from their surrender in Assam in recent times. The grenade blast in Guwahati on Wednesday is perceived to be a result of the frustration among the ranks of ULFA’s Paresh Baruah faction.

“They are facing pressure on both sides. Now, they cannot just sneak out of Myanmar and stay here, because the moment they do so, they will be chased down,” Assam’s Director General of Police, Kuladhar Saikia, said. 

He said it was due to the pressure being built up that around ten ULFA and NDFB rebels had surrendered. One of the rebels giving up arms is Essara, NDFB’s “foreign secretary”. “The three-member group that surrendered the other day was involved in the killings of (police inspector) Bhaskar Kalita and five civilians in Dhola-Sadiya. We were chasing them and they had no place to go to. So they surrendered,” Saikia added.

Intelligence agencies say India is investing heavily in Myanmar to keep the ruling establishment there in good humour. They say New Delhi has virtually goaded Yangon to go after the militants from the Northeast.

The insurgents holed out in Myanmar operate under the banner of United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia, where the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang, made up of Indian and Myanmarese Nagas, calls the shots. 

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