India's operation in Myanmar force rebels to flee training camp

  • Shishir Gupta, None, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 18, 2015 05:45 IST

Intelligence reports indicate that anti-India insurgent groups from the North-East operating out of camps in Myanmar have fled the main Taga training camp that lies across Arunachal Pradesh after India’s military retaliation on June 9.

This development has been verified by satellite imagery, and shared with Myanmar by a visiting Indian delegation led by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in Nay Pyi Daw on Wednesday.

NSA Doval, accompanied by Foreign secretary S Jaishankar and Joint secretary (PMO) Jawed Ashraf, returned late on Wednesday. The Indian delegation has also shared with Myanmar specific details on 25-odd anti-India insurgent camps in its territory along the 1,643-km border with India.

The Indian strike on militant camps earlier this month seems to have had the desired effect on insurgent groups. “We have confirmed reports that insurgents have moved out of camps, particularly from Taga and across the Manipur border, as they fear more reprisals from the Indian side,” said a senior official.

Although the main purpose of the visit was to seek cooperation from Myanmar on anti-India groups not being allowed to set up camps east of the Chindwin river, the high-powered delegation met Myanmar’s top political leadership, including President Thein Sein and Myanmar’s military commander Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, to assuage any hard feelings in Nay Pyi Daw over the June 9 operations.

Both sides have decided to initiate better coordination on operations along the border. It is understood that Nay Pyi Daw was peeved with Indian media reports reporting that the strike was carried out deep inside Myanmar territory.

The Myanmar government had come out with a statement soon after the operation, insisting that it was along the border of the two countries. The Nay Pyi Daw response was perhaps muted as the leadership was more focused on Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to China and her meeting with President Xi Jinping.

South Block sources said the Indian team expressed concern over North-East rebel group leaders like United Liberation Front of Assam’s Paresh Barua, National Democratic Front of Bodoland’s K Songbijit and Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland’s (K) SS Khaplang operating with impunity from Myanmar.

Even though India raised the issue of direct involvement of the Khaplang group in the June 4 Chandel ambush, Myanmar will find it difficult to take action against the 80-year-old Naga leader as it has a ceasefire with his rebel group.

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