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Govt to fence 10 km along Myanmar border

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, April 25 � The unfenced border with Myanmar along with the free movement regime is exploited by the militant groups of the North Eastern region and the Government of India has initiated steps to construct fencing in an area of around 10 kilometers along the international border.

India shares 1643 kilometers of international border with Myanmar in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram and the Government of India has deployed 31 battalions of Assam Rifles personnel for counter-insurgency operations and 15 battalions for guarding the border. The personnel of the Assam Rifles are deployed in the routes known to be used by the militants and to check movement of arms and ammunition, drugs, fake currency notes etc, said the annual report of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The report said that permit free movement regime up to 16 kilometers of the international border, which makes the border extremely porous, while, the border runs along hilly and inhospitable terrain, which lacks basic infrastructure and provides adequate cover to members of various militant groups.

Due to the problem of increased militant activities, the Government of India decided to fence around 10 kilometers of the international border from border pillar number 79 to 81 and the MHA has given administrative approval for Rs 30.96 crore for the same. The clearance from the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Environment and Forest has been obtained for the construction of the fencing and the Border Roads Organization has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the project. The Government of Manipur has been given a compensation of Rs 503 lakh for land acquisition.

It may be mentioned here that most of the active militant groups of the North East region including the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) have strong bases in Myanmar and senior leaders of the militant groups are also using the territory of the neighbouring country as a safe haven.

Security sources said that the hardline faction of the ULFA is mostly using the facilities of the NSCN (K) despite the fact that the Naga militant outfit is under cease-fire agreement with the Government of India and the disturbing fact is that the militant groups having bases in Myanmar are now coming closer to each other and extending help to each other in launching offensives.

Though the Government of Myanmar has assured India time and again that action would be taken against the militant groups using the territory of that country, no such action has yet been taken and according to estimates of the security forces, at least three thousand members of various militant groups are staying in Myanmar. The militants are also frequently changing their routes to visit Myanmar and in recent times, there have been reports that members of the ULFA went to Myanmar through Arunachal Pradesh and not through Nagaland as were the case earlier.

In recent months, the hardline faction of the ULFA also sent at least a hundred new recruits to Myanmar camps for training, sources added.

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Govt to fence 10 km along Myanmar border

GUWAHATI, April 25 � The unfenced border with Myanmar along with the free movement regime is exploited by the militant groups of the North Eastern region and the Government of India has initiated steps to construct fencing in an area of around 10 kilometers along the international border.

India shares 1643 kilometers of international border with Myanmar in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram and the Government of India has deployed 31 battalions of Assam Rifles personnel for counter-insurgency operations and 15 battalions for guarding the border. The personnel of the Assam Rifles are deployed in the routes known to be used by the militants and to check movement of arms and ammunition, drugs, fake currency notes etc, said the annual report of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The report said that permit free movement regime up to 16 kilometers of the international border, which makes the border extremely porous, while, the border runs along hilly and inhospitable terrain, which lacks basic infrastructure and provides adequate cover to members of various militant groups.

Due to the problem of increased militant activities, the Government of India decided to fence around 10 kilometers of the international border from border pillar number 79 to 81 and the MHA has given administrative approval for Rs 30.96 crore for the same. The clearance from the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Environment and Forest has been obtained for the construction of the fencing and the Border Roads Organization has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the project. The Government of Manipur has been given a compensation of Rs 503 lakh for land acquisition.

It may be mentioned here that most of the active militant groups of the North East region including the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) have strong bases in Myanmar and senior leaders of the militant groups are also using the territory of the neighbouring country as a safe haven.

Security sources said that the hardline faction of the ULFA is mostly using the facilities of the NSCN (K) despite the fact that the Naga militant outfit is under cease-fire agreement with the Government of India and the disturbing fact is that the militant groups having bases in Myanmar are now coming closer to each other and extending help to each other in launching offensives.

Though the Government of Myanmar has assured India time and again that action would be taken against the militant groups using the territory of that country, no such action has yet been taken and according to estimates of the security forces, at least three thousand members of various militant groups are staying in Myanmar. The militants are also frequently changing their routes to visit Myanmar and in recent times, there have been reports that members of the ULFA went to Myanmar through Arunachal Pradesh and not through Nagaland as were the case earlier.

In recent months, the hardline faction of the ULFA also sent at least a hundred new recruits to Myanmar camps for training, sources added.