Assamese and Naga terrorists find shelter in Myanmar
India-Bhutan joint operations against ULFA were thought to have seriously damaged the capabilities of that terrorist organisation. Not so, it seems, given the recent spate of attacks in Assam which have killed nine civilians and injured 52. Thanks to its ‘28th battalion‘ based across the border in Myanmar, ULFA is back in business.
ULFA shares the Myanmar base with NSCN-K, a Naga terrorist outfit. The NSCN-K too has stepped up its attacks given the new government’s disinclination to redraw India’s internal borders. For a time, it appeared that regrouping Naga-majority areas in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh into a greater Nagaland state would provide a satisfactory solution to the Naga question, even if it did rouse intense opposition in Manipur. The new central government has shown signs of taking even this solution off the table. Yet, nothing can justify the NSCN’s return to its violent ways.
Myanmar and its generals can never be India’s partners; and there is no need to handle them with kid gloves especially when their sins of commission or omission directly impact national security. India must insist that they clean up the terrorist camps on their side of the border.
Related Link: The North-Eastern Neigbourhood, by Pradip Phanjoubam points out why Myanmar’s attitude is a hurdle in combating terrorism in the North-East.