NE insurgents shift base to Myanmar: AR DG
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Last Updated: Friday, August 26, 2011, 22:01
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 sometime."

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 necessary infrastructure.

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.


First Published: Friday, August 26, 2011, 22:01

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