GUWAHATI, Feb 2 � Sudden movement of the Myanmar Army towards the Taga area created panic among the militant groups of the North East, who are taking shelter in the territory of the neighbouring country. However, details of whether the movement was aimed at the militants of the region were not yet known.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the Myanmar Army personnel started moving towards the Taga area on January 18. As most of the camps of the militant groups of the North East including the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) and Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) are based in the Taga area, the movement caused panic among them.
According to inputs available with security agencies, the movement of the Myanmar Army personnel caused panic among the leaders of the militant outfits and the cadres were asked to vacate some of the camps and move to safer places immediately. Sources said the members of the militant outfits were also asked by their leaders to shift the weapons kept in the camps to safer places as soon as possible.
Sources revealed that the panic-stricken members of the militant outfits immediately vacated some of the camps and shifted to the jungles. But there is no report of any large-scale offensive against militants in Myanmar so far. The real reason for the movement of the Army is also not known. It is a fact that the Army personnel came very close to the camps of the North East militants in Taga, but whether the Myanmar Government is finally planning any strong action against the militants is not yet known.
�There is one belief that the operation was aimed against the Kachin Independent Army (KIA). However, the possibility of Myanmar deploying the Army in Taga area to send a message to the militants of NE also cannot be ruled out as the incident occurred a few days before the Republic Day celebrations. At that time the leaders of the militant groups normally plan some action to make their presence felt,� sources added.
It may be mentioned here that most of the active militant groups of the NE have strong bases in Myanmar. Security sources said that ULFA(I) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah still spends most of his time in the Ruilie area bordering Myanmar and China, while, a few senior leaders of the NDFB (S) including the chairman of the outfit, IK Songbijit are also in Myanmar. For years, the Government of India has been putting pressure on Myanmar to take strong action to evict the camps of the militant outfits and even after the December 23 killing of more than 70 persons, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took up the issue with the Myanmar leadership.