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Myanmar rejects plea for shelter by Indian insurgents

The Myanmar Army and government have outright rejected the plea of Indian insurgent groups of Assam and Manipur for shelter in Myanmar, and asked them to leave the country forthwith.

Saying that Indian insurgent groups had pleaded with the Myanmar Army to provide them shelter in few designated camps in Sagaing division, authoritative security sources in the Union home ministry told this newspaper that the plea was not only rejected, but the Myanmar Army had also taken over control of Taga village, setting up its headquarters near the camp of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K).

Saying the Myanmar Army had also seized a large number of weapons from non-Myanmary militants, the sources said the Myanmar Army has started scanning all non-Myanmar residents in the NSCN-K camps. Saying the non-Myanmar cadres of all armed rebel groups had been asked to leave the country, the sources said the Myanmar army had warned the NSCN-K of dire consequences if found giving shelter to any foreign nationals or intruder in their camps.

Noting that the Myanmar Army was monitoring the movement of cadres in the NSCN-K camp at Taga, the sources said the NSCN-K was also clearly told to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). It is significant that the NSCN(K) had signed a ceasefire agreement with U Thein Sein’s government on April 9, 2012, but it had failed to take off as yet.

The NSCN-K has been seeking a tripartite dialogue involving Myanmar, India and the Nagas, but the Myanmar government had ruled out the possibility while warning the Naga rebels of Myanmarese origin to join the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.

Indicating that the survival of Indian insurgent groups in Myanmar had become very difficult with Myanmar taking a firm stand against the intruders, the sources said the Myanmar Army had also destroyed a large number of camps in Taga region.

Admitting that the Myanmar Army had started taking over control of the unadministered area of northwest Myanmar, the sources said the Army was also going to strengthen its presence on the international border with India.

About the fate of the insurgent groups holed up in Myanmar, the sources said the cadres of Assam and Manipur rebel groups have started returning towards the Indian border and may try to cross over to India.

The security forces along the international border with Myanmar have also been sensitised about this. While the exact number of militants now in Myanmar is yet to be ascertained, security agencies believe at least 2,000 cadres of active militant groups are still in that country, including around 150 members of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) and 100 of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (S).

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