GUWAHATI, Jan 19 � The Chinese have been goading the militant groups of the North East region to come to a common platform. Though the Government of India has been taking up the issue with the Chinese counterpart, the Government of that country always denies the reports.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the Chinese have been asking the militants to join hands for quite some time. The militant groups of the region sought help from China to fight against India and instead of helping the outfits individually, the Chinese are keen that the outfits should join hands.
Middle and lower level officers of the China Government spoke to the leaders of the militant groups of the region in recent times to discuss these issues and according to inputs available with the Government of India, the first meeting was held in Yunan province of China about a year back and the next was held about six months back.
Sources said that the ultra groups, which are in the new process of unification include hard line faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Ranjan Daimary faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), Khaplang faction of the NSCN and groups based in Manipur. Though the NSCN (I-M) was maintaining close ties with China, the outfit is not in the recent scheme of things.
MHA sources said that though the militant groups have close ties with each other, they have not yet been able to come into a common platform. However, the Meitei groups of Manipur have joined hands recently, sources added.
It may be mentioned here that Paresh Baruah, the leader of the hard line faction of the ULFA has been maintaining links in China for a long time and still visits that country frequently. It is believed by the security agencies that he is now the main link between China and the insurgent groups of North East.
Meanwhile, a team of senior officers of the MHA and Intelligence Bureau (IB) recently completed its tour of Manipur to assess the situation on the ground on the eve of the Assembly elections in the State.
MHA sources admitted that the situation in Manipur is a cause of concern and that is why around 360 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to deal with the situation. The valley based militant groups of Manipur would definitely try to make an impact on the polls and in fact they have already started making efforts in this direction. Though those groups are not directly supporting any political party, they are all opposing the ruling Congress. On the other hand, members of the NSCN (I-M) are trying to create trouble in the Hill areas of Manipur.
However, sources said that all out efforts would be made to ensure violence free elections in the state and the personnel of the Assam Rifles have also been alerted to prevent free movement of militants from their bases in Myanmar.