`Minimal` presence of Maoists in North-East: PC

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 13:17

New Delhi: The government has noticed
"minimal" presence of Maoists in the northeast region, Home
Minister P Chidambaram told Rajya Sabha today.

"In recent months, we have noticed minimal presence of
Maoists in North-East," he said during Question Hour.

So far, no case of Maoists indulging in smuggling of arms
from across the border has come to notice, he said adding if
Maoists take root in the region, they will soon smuggle arms
from Myanmar or Bangladesh.

He said insurgent outfits operating in the North-East have
been procuring arms through smugglers based in Yunnan province
of China, Myanmar and South East Asian countries.

"Most of the weapons (seized from insurgents) carry
Chinese mark," he said, adding reportedly there are arms
bazaars on Myanmar-China border.

The government has raised its concerns with China, Myanmar
and Bangladesh through diplomatic channels on the issue of
reported smuggling of arms through their territories.

"Cooperation from Bangladesh is splendid," he said adding
there has been significant improvement in response from
Myanmar
after a new government took over.

Effective domination of the India-Bangladesh and
India-Myanmar borders by the security forces and regular
patrolling along the border areas are being carried out. "The
erection of fencing and installation of flood lights along
Indo-Bangladesh border has helped in controlling the smuggling
of arms including other cross-border illegal activities."

Noting that Indo-Myanmar border is more complex, he said
regular patrolling and establishment of mobile vehicle check
posts along India-Myanmar border have been put in place to
check smuggling of arms.

"In order to prevent smuggling across the Indo-Myanmar
border, a memorandum of understanding was signed between India
and Myanmar in January, 1994, for maintenance of peace and
tranquility in border areas," he said.

Bilateral talks are held regularly at various fora between
India and Myanmar and India and Bangladesh to discuss security
related issues, including action to check smuggling of arms
and effective guarding of borders, he said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 13:17

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