NEW DELHI, July 13 - With active militant groups of the North East region still having strong bases in Myanmar, the Assam Rifles has been directed to move their camps closer to the international border. Meanwhile, the Army is also of the view that steps should be taken to properly regulate the free movement regime to monitor the movements across the India-Myanmar border.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, top Army sources said that presence of militants in Myanmar remains a matter of concern but coordination between the security forces of India and Myanmar has improved considerably in recent times, which is a positive development.
India shares 1643 kilometres of international boundary with Myanmar and because of the porous nature of the international border, the militants having bases in the neighbouring country are taking advantage of the situation to enter India to carry out acts of violence and retreat back to their sanctuaries. Though the Assam Rifles, which is under the operational control of the Army, has been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border, the situation has not shown much improvement.
Top Army sources revealed that the Assam Rifles has been asked to move its camps closer to the international border, particularly in the areas identified as vulnerable so that free movement of the ultras can be checked. Army is also of the view that unregulated free movement of people from both sides of the international border is a major problem. Sources said that the free movement of people of both the countries should be properly regulated and the Governments of the states having international border with Myanmar can play a positive role in this regard. �We are not saying that the free movement regime, which has been going on for ages, should be withdrawn. But it should be properly regulated and a mechanism should be put in place so that we know who is coming into India and who is going out,� sources said.
Sources admitted that the relation between Indian and Myanmar�s security forces has improved considerably in recent times. Army officers of India and Myanmar are meeting quite often to discuss the problems and sharing of information is also going on. But so far, Myanmar Army has not been able to launch any major offensive against the ultras of the North East using the territory of the neighbouring country. Sources admitted that the Myanmar Army has its own problems in other parts of the country and the presence of its personnel along the border with India is not very strong to launch a major offensive against the militants. �The Myanmar Army has given us assurance to deal with the ultras camping there. But the problem will persist till Myanmar Army manages to increase its presence in the areas where the militants have their bases. Moreover, the militants are staying mostly near the villages of local people, which is another problem in launching a major offensive,� sources added.