ULFA terror group leader Paresh Baruah

By conducting raids in northern provinces of the area, the Myanmar Army is creating trouble for militant groups like ULFA, NDFB, People’s Liberation Army and other militant groups

GUWAHATI: As New Delhi keeps the pressure up on Yangoon, the Myanmar army is giving sleepless nights to militant groups from North-East India operating out of the neighbouring country.

The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), People’s Liberation Army and other militant groups are feeling the heat as the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) is conducting raids in northern provinces of the area while the Indian security forces increasing patrolling in the Indo-Myanmar border.

Ever since the operations were launched in February this year, a number of rebel camps were run over with unspecified number of rebels being killed or apprehended. In the wake of the operations, the militants are virtually getting sandwiched as evident from their surrender in Assam in recent times. The grenade blast in Guwahati on Wednesday is perceived to be a result of the frustration among the ranks of ULFA’s Paresh Baruah faction. “They are facing pressure on both sides. Now, they cannot just sneak out of Myanmar and stay here because the moment they will do so, they will be chased down,” Assam Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia told TNIE. 

He said it was due to the pressure being built up that around ten ULFA and NDFB rebels surrendered with one of them being NDFB 'foreign secretary' Essara. “The three-member group that surrendered the other day was involved in the killings of Bhaskar Kalita, a police inspector and five civilians in Dhola-Sadiya. We were chasing them and as they had no place to go to, they surrendered,” Saikia added.

Intelligence agencies said that India is investing heavily in Myanmar to keep the ruling establishment there in good booksr. They said that New Delhi has virtually goaded Yangoon to go after the militants of North-East.

The insurgents holed out in Myanmar operate under the banner of United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) where National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K), made up of Indian and Myanmarese Nagas, takes decisions. Last year, the NSCN-K suffered a split from one faction, led by Khango Konyak, which joined the Naga peace process. The other faction, led by Yung Aung, who is a Naga from Myanmar, however, continues to wield the gun.

“Myanmar has launched the offensive largely due to pressure from India. Also, the government in that country was not happy with NSCN-K as it was harbouring members of other rebel groups from Northeast,” a Nagaland-based intelligence official said. “The NSCN-K benefits hugely monetarily by giving shelter and arms training to the members of other groups. Then, there is the proliferation of Chinese weapons which are easily available in Myanmar. These groups are also involved in gunrunning and drug trade,” the official said.

He also said that Indian authorities were using the military including Para Commandos, to take on rebels from NSCN-K (Yung Aung faction). "This NSCN-K faction is a thorn in India’s flesh as this is the only group left out from the Naga peace process and the Centre wants to resolve the problem by taking all groups on board," he added.

The Nagas have a sizeable population in northern Myanmar along the border with India. There were reports about “heavy casualties” in the latest face-off between Myanmar Army and NSCN-K which took place in Konyak Naga region of Myanmar on Thursday.