The Caretaker Government in Bangladesh under pressure from India has been tightening its noose on North-east militant groups. This has been demonstrated by recent incidents of handing over of some extremists to BDR by BSF and the admission by Tripura based NLFT and ATTF surrenderees that they are facing a sort of crisis in food and support in Bangladesh.
Another important factor now coming in the way of the free movement of extremists is the coming up of fencing along border with Bangladesh. It is also a fact that certain stretches of the international border, riverine, tough terrain still leave gaps for infiltration and exfiltration.
Intelligence inputs suggest with zero-fencing all along India’s border with Mynmar spreading from Arunachal Pradesh to Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, North-east militant groups find accessibility for movement easy. This is also facilitated by smaller groups of extremists operating in the area or close to the hinterlands.
Way back in the nineties, NSCN (Khaplang), ULFA and UNLF formed Indo-Burma Revolutionary Front (IBRF) for liberation as their joint declaration stated that the people of the region (north east and the north western Burma) belong to the same racial and cultural group bound by a basic unity historically, culturally, socially and economically. The declaration signed by SS Khaplang, chairman of NSCN, Arabinda Rajkhowa, ULFA leader and Sana Yaima, general secretary of UNLF, called for united struggle for emancipation.
This came as a great fillip to the extremists groups to move to Mynmar for base, training and arms build up. Their access to the hills and port of Chittagong also became easier for shelter and to the extremists groups to move to Mynmar for base, training and arms build up. Their access to the hills and port of Chittagong also became easier for shelter and shipment of arms through Tripura and Mizoram. The strategic location of Zampui hills serves as a safe corridor between Mynmar and Chittagong.
Massive build up of bases by other extremist groups like PLA, Prepak, KCP, NLFT and ATTF necessitated joint air and ground strikes by Indian and Mynmarese security forces in the end part of 90’s, which resulted in huge loss to rebels, man and material. For more than a decade, this frontier theatre has been lying low. But, for quite some time, Mynmar is again in focus. Intelligence sources indicate how Arakanese, Chin, Karen and Shan rebels, who are in relentless fight against the military Junta of the country have become more than active.
North east extremists are once again being embraced by the Burmese rebels who have laid their hands on global arms and ammunition stocks which are smuggled through Laos and Thailand, besides the regular help from China, which dumps its arms in the troubled zone from Yunon. The recent interception of a Bolero at Verengtei check gate of Mizoram and seizure of seven AK 47 rifles from it is a part of the larger game plane of this revived Indo-Burma tie up. Mynmar as a corridor has to be brought under serious intelligence and security glare to frustrate subversive activities of the rebels.