GUWAHATI, April 17 � Despite the crackdown by the Government of Bangladesh, a majority of the active militant groups of the North East are still maintaining bases in the neighbouring country and in fact, a few of the ultra groups are even giving training to the new recruits in the bases in that country.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the matter has already been conveyed to the Government of Bangladesh so that action can be taken against the militants using the territory of the neighbouring country as safe sanctuary. However, sources said that according to information available with the security agencies, the militants only have a handful of camps and most members of the ultra groups are staying in hideouts in villages.
Sources revealed that the hardline faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) has a strong presence in Bangladesh, particularly in the Khagrachari area and according to information available with the security agencies at least 30 to 40 members of the outfit are staying in the area. Sources said that the camp is headed by hardcore militant Thulunga, who was named in the chargesheet of the serial blasts of October 2008.
A few fresh recruits of the militant outfit are being trained up in the bases, the sources added.
Interestingly, the Songbijit faction of the NDFB are also indulging in fresh recruitment and a few fresh recruits, including educated youths, were recently taken to the bases in Myanmar for training.
MHA sources revealed that the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) does not have strong presence in Bangladesh. Sources said that hardcore militant leader Drishti Rajkhowa very often crosses over to Bangladesh whenever pressure from the security forces intensifies in Garo Hills. However, the ULFA is not maintaining any camp in Bangladesh and only a few hideouts are maintained.
The National Liberation Front of Tripura (B) has the strongest presence in Bangladesh as majority of the members of the outfit are now in the neighbouring country and the outfit have bases in Rangamati, Khagrachari, etc. The chairman of the outfit, Bishwa Mohan Dev Burma is staying in a hideout in Dhaka.
Similarly, the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) also has bases in Maulvi Bazaar area, but the outfit only has hideouts and shelters and not full fledged camps.
Though the NSCN (I-M) is under cease fire agreement with the Government of India, the outfit is maintaining bases in Bangladesh, particularly in Khagrachari area. Most of the Manipur-based militant groups, including KYKL and PLA, have bases in Maulvi Bazaar area.
The Garo National Liberation Front (GNLF), with which the hardline faction of the ULFA is maintaining close relation, has strong presence in the Netrakona and Sherpur areas.