GUWAHATI, Feb 5 - In recent years, the Government of India has been taking up the issue of militants of the Northeast using Chinese weapons with the Government of China. But the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America had reported about the Chinese help to the militants of the region 50 years back.
The US Government has declassified some of the CIA reports and one such report was on �India�s Troubled Eastern Region�. The report was submitted on July 26, 1968 and from the report it is evident that the militant groups of the Northeast were receiving help from China even during that time.
The report said, �it is evident that China is interested in the rebellions in the North East and is providing modest arms and training assistance, at least to the Naga rebels. That increased Indian concern over the security of the area.�
The report said that the Naga rebels first established contacts with China in December, 1966. The report revealed that the first batch of approximately 200 rebels crossed over to Northern Burma (now Myanmar) to obtain arms training in Yunan.
The CIA report revealed that in a clash near Kohima in 1968, the Army discovered that the rebels were in possession of Chinese-made small arms and mortars as well as diaries, radio sets and other materials. The discovery of Chinese arms caused New Delhi to fire off a protest to China charging it of aiding the rebels and training subversive elements.
The CIA observed that though India was annoyed with the Chinese meddling with the rebellion in the Northeast, �it is not expected that the Chinese will provide more than small arms and training assistance to the rebels, which the Chinese can provide at little expense to itself.�
It may be mentioned here that for years, the security agencies of India have been claiming that the militant groups have been receiving weapons from China and most of the arms used by the militants are made in the ordnance factories of the neighbouring country. There have also been reports that batches of militants received training in China. The Government of India has also been informing China that several senior leaders of the militant groups have been staying in China, particularly in Yunan province.
Though China had always been denying such reports, only recently, China has started changing its stand on the issue after it started facing similar problem in Jinjiang province. India and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly combat terrorism and the ground modalities are being worked out.