GUWAHATI, April 12 � With the Government of Myanmar yet to take any action against the militants of North-East, who are taking shelter in that country, the Government of India has started working on augmenting security along the international border and a comprehensive border management strategy is being planned.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Joint Secretary (North-East) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Sambhu Singh said that as a part of the new strategy, a four member team of the Government of India is has visited the international border areas to assess the situation on the ground so that a proper border management strategy can be chalked out.
The international border with Myanmar is being guarded by the Assam Rifles Since 2002 as a part of the one border one force strategy of the Government of India. However, it is often reported that majority of the Assam Rifles camps are located deep inside Indian territory and the deployment of the force could not check the movement of militants and other anti-national elements. Though there were some discussions about entrusting the Border Security Force (BSF) with the responsibility of guarding the border with Myanmar, the final decision in this regard is yet to be taken.
Singh said that the Assam Rifles has sought to increase its strength with induction of new battalions so that more dedicated forces can be deployed along the border with Myanmar. He said that the Government of India is likely to accept the request of the Assam Rifles soon so that border guarding can be improved. He said that steps would also be taken to move the camps of the Assam Rifles nearer to the international border.
The MHA official said that it may not be possible to construct fencing all along the border with Myanmar because of the terrain. But the Government may go for construction of fencing in the areas where such construction is feasible. However, the final decision in this regard would be taken as a part of the comprehensive border management plan after the team, which travelled the border areas, submits its report. It may be mentioned here that Singh is one of the members of the team, which toured the border areas with Myanmar including the bordering areas in the states of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Singh admitted that so far, the Government of Myanmar is yet to take strong action to evict the camps of the militants from the territory of that country. According to an estimate, the total strength of Indian militants in Myanmar should be around 2,000 as the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), the Songbijit faction of the NDFB, the Khaplang faction of the NSCN and Manipur based ultra groups have strong bases in the neighbouring country.