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Myanmar flushing out Naga militants from camps, forcing them towards Indian border

Myanmar flushing out Naga militants from camps, forcing them towards Indian borderA few huts are seen on a clearing inside a dense forest in Myanmar. The militant groups operating in northeast India have many camps in such remote locations a few kilometres inside Myanmar’s territory. (Getty Images photo)

NEW DELHI: Even as Indian security agencies go all out against NSCN (Khaplang) and its allies, the militants are appearing nervous with Myanmar army also "flushing them out" and forcing them towards the Indian side of the border.

According to a secret document, shared with North Block last night and exclusively accessed by TOI, the day (June 9) commandos of 21 Para (SF) unit of Indian Army struck at two camps of the militants on the Myanmar side, a unit of NSCN(K) hiding on the border sent a SOS message to the central headquarters of NSCN(K) in Taga region of the neighbouring country. Intercepted by Indian agencies, the message to SS Khaplang informed that Myanmar army was preparing to "flush out" the NSCN(K)'s mobile unit -5 cadres from Myanmar side to Indian side.

The information, based on reliable inputs generated by external intelligence agency Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), also suggest that about 50-60 Myanmar army officials even occupied one of the locations of NSCN(K) cadres.

Top sources said that Myanmar army's cooperation has given a free hand to Indian security forces in launching counterattacks on the insurgents in the region, which will continue in the coming days too.

The outfit's nervousness can also be ascertained with the fact that two of its cadres died on June 9 while removing an explosive device (IED) that was earlier planted to target the Indian forces. These cadres belonged to the two groups of NSCN(K), who were stationed in Arunachal Pradesh for carrying out ambushes.

However, there is still high level of threat in the area and the Army has cordoned off the whole border on the basis of these inputs. The inputs say that several cadres of NSCN(K) units including — mobile unit 5, 2nd brigade — are already camping in the Ukhrul (Manipur), Grihang (Manipur), Phek (Nagaland) and Tirap (Arunachal Pradesh) regions.

The militants have planned June 4 like ambushes on Indian Army, BSF and Assam Rifle contingents in these areas. "Ukhrul has been chosen for a major strike because it is the stronghold of their rival outfit NSCN-IM," according to the input.

The NSCN(K) cadres are reportedly hiding in remote villages on the hills and forest camps in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur. The cadres are in numbers of 30-40 in each camp including Phek, Kohima and other places while about 80 NSCN(K) cadres are camping at an undisclosed location in Arunachal Pradesh.

The inputs suggest that NSCN(K) cadres are waiting for an opportune moment to carry out more ambushes.

The Army and other security forces, however, plan to carry planned strikes on them and stop them from fleeing towards Myanmar again, said top officials in North Block.

Militant umbrella body suspends two outfits

The intelligence reports also reveal that while NSCN (Khaplang) claimed on June 4 that it carried out an attack on Indian Army soldiers along with Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) and Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), the latter two outfits have been suspended from the joint group CorComm from June 5.

The meeting of CorComm took place in an undisclosed location from June 1 and June 5 in which several outfits including PREPAK, PREPAK (PRO), RPF/PLA, UNLF and NSCN(K) participated.