Shillong: A top Assam Rifles official on Friday
said insurgents in North-East have apparently shifted bases to
Myanmar after the crackdown in Bangladesh prompting the force
to intensify vigil along that border.
"In the wake of the crackdown on Bangladesh soil, the
North-East insurgents have apparently shifted bases to
Myanmar," Assam Rifles Director General Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy
told reporters here.
The AR DG said due to the cross-border movement of
insurgents to and from Myanmar and continued smuggling
activities there was the need to intensify vigil along the
Indo-Myanmar border, which is manned by the force.
The dense forests in most parts make the border very
vulnerable, he said.
Turning to the domestic situation in north-east, Roy
said the region as a whole was looking peaceful despite
ceasefire violation by NSCN factions.
"The splits in the groups have only made the outfits
weaker and the level of disturbances" in the North-east has
gone down drastically, Lt Gen Roy said.
The only militancy-related issue left in the region now
was `extortion`, he said.
Citing figures, the DG said against the killing of
69 underground activists last year, this year just five have
been killed by the Assam Rifles.
"Apprehensions (rounding up) have gone down from
1132 to 610, while the surrenders have come down from 270 to
155," Lt Gen Roy said.
He admitted that the NSCN - all the factions ? "keep
breaking the ceasefire ground-rules now and then."
However, the DG went on to add, "this should be taken
positively. They (NSCN) have shown restraint in reckless
violence. People have not suffered much."
He said extortion was the only concern in the region
as of now.
"The outfits have to carry out extortion as they will
have to survive and the people are no longer supporting them.
To survive they will have to put pressure on the people," Lt
Gen Roy added.
He, however, again conceded that despite overall calm
in the region, the "dominance of the NSCN factions will see
that the some areas like those in Manipur will remain hot for
The top AR official contended that the security force
will continue to man the Indo-Myanmar border stretch due to
its knowledge about the people and terrain, in short being
familiar with the "complete operational situation there."
Roy said while there are about 15 battalions manning
the Myanmar border as of now, more would be raised and the
state governments requested to provide land for setting up the
The Centre was earlier planning to replace the Assam
Rifles with BSF jawans along the Myanmar border.
The Assam Rifles, which now has 46 battalions ? some
deployed in counter-insurgency operations in North-east - was
entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border with
Myanmar in 2002.