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Days After Crackdown by Myanmar Army, Paresh Baruah-ULFA (I) Builds New Camps, Starts Training Recruits

In February, Baruah had said the Indian government had put pressure on Myanmar to carry out the operation and it was “quite impossible to control insurgency in northeast India and Myanmar at the same time.”

Biju Kumar Deka | News18

Updated:July 24, 2019, 6:25 PM IST
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Days After Crackdown by Myanmar Army, Paresh Baruah-ULFA (I) Builds New Camps, Starts Training Recruits
Training of new recruits underway at a ULFA (I) camp along the international border. (News18)
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Guwahati: Despite a massive crackdown on rebel Indian outfits in the Ta Ga area of Myanmar, the banned United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) has managed to established new camps along the international border.

The Paresh Baruah-led outfit has set up its new camps in the deep forests along the border inside Myanmar and training of new recruits are already said to be underway there.

A senior intelligence officer told News18, “More than 100 cadres are camping in the new camps that have been set about 30-35km away from the international border. Arunudoy Asom, the deputy commander-in-chief of the outfit, is in charge of the camps... About 35-40 new recruits, most of whom are from upper Assam, participated on one of the ongoing arms training.”

New Camps ULFA-I (1)

New ULFA(I) camps built along the India-Myanmar border.

The Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) has been carrying out operations against insurgent outfits like the ULFA (I), National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) National Democratic Front of Boroland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) since January 29. It has also taken control of the NSCN-K’s headquarters at Ta Ga village in Sagaing region of Myanmar.

The Tatmadaw has accused the Naga separatist outfit of supporting insurgent groups of Indian origin, including ULFA (I) and NDFB (S), in Myanmar. Though the NSCN (K) has denied the allegation, the Tatmadaw said it took control of the group’s training schools and arrested 36 members from “Naga self-administrative areas” between January and March.

The Nagas were granted a self-administered region under the Tatmadaw-drafted 2008 constitution and were asked to run it out of Lahe township. After Tatmadaw’s crackdown, the insurgents fled from the Ta Ga area to different locations. Dozens of NSCN (K)’s cadres, including five top functionaries, were arrested.

In February, Baruah had said the Indian government had put pressure on Myanmar to carry out the operation. In a telephonic conversation with News18 from an undisclosed location, he had said, “It’s quite impossible to control insurgency in northeast India and Myanmar at the same time.”

Stating that ULFA (I) was confident of overcoming such operations, Baruah said members of his outfit knew the geographical terrain of the Sagaing better than the Myanmar Army. “We are a step ahead of them,” said Baruah, one of the most-wanted insurgent leaders of the region.

He had said the outfit, till then, had lost only one officer, Jyotirmoy Asom. “Our soldiers and other officers have tactfully moved out from the base camps to safe zones via secret routes.”

“The Indian government has invested billions of dollars in Myanmar for various developmental projects. Therefore, under Indian pressure, they began the operation to eliminate ULFA (I), NSCN (K) and other Manipuri outfits,” he had said.

However, he added that that fighting against the Myanmar army was against his outfit’s rules. “The Myanmar army is not our enemy. We understand their conditions,” he had said.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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