GUWAHATI, Jan 29 � Growing links between the militant outfits with China has started ringing alarm bells in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), as in recent times China has started taking keen interest in the activities of the militant groups of the region. The Chinese interest came out in the open once again after Wang Qing, a 39-year old woman from China was detained and questioned by the security agencies.
Highly placed sources in the MHA told The Assam Tribune that Qing, who visited Nagaland posing as a journalist was detained in Dimapur and was later shifted to Delhi for questioning. Sources said that the lady was on a mission to assess the strength of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M), including the cadre strength and the mass base of the outfit. India has informed China of her activities and she was deported back to China. �India did not want to create bad blood with China by arresting Qing but India�s concern over such activities was informed to the Chinese authorities,� sources added.
MHA sources said that majority of the active militant groups of the North East now want to solve their problems through talks and the changed situation in Bangladesh has also added to the problems of the militant groups. Under the circumstances, links with China would be beneficial for both as the militants need foreign help, directly or indirectly, while, on the other hand, it is always beneficial for China if trouble in the region continues. The questioning of Qing also revealed some vital information about the links of the militants with China and it is now clear that the militants are in touch with the Public Security Bureau of China.
Sources revealed that at one point of time, the militant groups not only received shelter in Bangladesh, but also received other assistance including Bangladeshi passports from the authorities of Bangladesh. But the changed situation in Bangladesh forced the militants to turn to China. It is a fact that the links with the militants with China was not new and way back in the early 1970s, the NNC received help from China, while, other militant groups also received help. But the situation started changing after the then External Affairs Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee visited China in 1978 and the relation between India and China further improved after the visit of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. But of late, China has started taking interest in the activities of the militant groups. However, before providing direct or indirect help to anyone, China always sends its own people to carry out surveys of ground realities discreetly.
Replying to a question as to why the NSCN, which is under cease-fire agreement, would like to take help from China, sources said that the outfit is suspected to be involved in illegal trading of weapons and one senior leader of the outfit, Anthony Shimrey was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged involvement in gun running on behalf of the outfit. On the other hand, it is an established fact that the militant groups of NE are using the weapons discarded by the Chinese army as a part of its modernization drive and the possibility of China providing weapons to the NSCN cannot be ruled out.