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India Aiding Myanmar Army to Conduct Ops Against Insurgent Groups, Says ULFA's Paresh Barua

A recent release by the Office of the Commander-in-chief of Defence Services, Myanmar had said that the Tatmadaw Kyee (Myanmar Army) have captured more outposts, arms and ammunition of Northeast rebels operating from their soil.

Biju Kumar Deka | News18.com

Updated:February 17, 2019, 11:34 PM IST
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India Aiding Myanmar Army to Conduct Ops Against Insurgent Groups, Says ULFA's Paresh Barua
An undated picture of Paresh Baruah.
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Guwahati: Paresh Barua, commander-in-chief and vice chairman of United Liberation Front-Independent (ULFA-I) confirmed to News18 on Sunday that Myanmar army is conducting a crackdown against northeast insurgent groups at the Naga self-administered zone of Sagaing region in Myanmar, for last 20 days.

A recent release by the Office of the Commander-in-chief of Defence Services, Myanmar had said that the Tatmadaw Kyee (Myanmar Army) have captured more outposts, arms and ammunition of Northeast rebels operating from their soil.

Earlier releases stated that the Myanmar Army could occupy a number of outposts and training schools in their crackdown, aimed at ensuring a total prevention of illegal armed insurgent groups infiltrating into Burmese soil.

Baruah, though tried to downplay the issue while speaking to News18. He said, “It’s a common strategic issue, nothing new for us. We are always prepared to face these operations.”

Speaking from an undisclosed location, he said, “It was Burmese (Myanmar) army’s operation against us due to tremendous pressure from Government of India. India Government gives lot of arms and ammunition to Burmese Government so that they can carry out operations against ULFA, NSCN-K and Manipuri groups. ’

Myanmar Army have so far arrested six members of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) and two ‘Kathe’ (Manipuri) insurgents along with a huge cache of ammunition including fifteen AK series rifles. The release also mentions that Myanmar army took hold of the evidence that Kathe and Assam insurgents resided in Ta Ga, Sagaing region of Myanmar with the help of NSCN (K).

Baruah added, ‘It was the government of India’s strategic plan to crackdown our camps in eastern Nagaland by pushing the Burmese army to control the continuous protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill. But they could not do anything on actual ground. We have no permanent camps anywhere, so we shifted before the operation of Burmese army.’

The Government of India has classified ULFA as a terrorist organisation and had banned it under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in 1990.

In December, 2003, ULFA suffered a major setback after Royal Army of Bhutan's attack against the insurgent group’s camps on its soil. After Bhutan, there was a major crackdown on the ULFA in Bangladesh, which greatly assisted the government of India in bringing ULFA leaders to talks. In January 2010, ULFA softened its stance and dropped demands for independence as a condition for talks with India.

In September 2011, a tripartite agreement for Suspension of Operations (SoO) against ULFA was signed between the Indian government, the Assam government and the Arabinda Rajkhowa led ULFA faction.

But Paresh Baruah ruled out negotiations and described the ‘peace talks’ between the ‘pro-talk faction’ with the Indian government as ‘a sell-out’ by Rajkhowa group.

After the fallout, Baruah announced that Abhizeet Asom, who was working as the acting chairman, would serve the organisation as its chairman. Later in 2013, the wing led by Baruah, which adheres uncompromisingly to the demand of an independent Assam, renamed the organisation as the ULFA-Independent.
| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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