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NE militants shifting to Myanmar from Bangladesh

By The Assam Tribune

Agartala, Sept 3 (IANS): Terrorist outfits of Northeast have been trying to shift their bases from Bangladesh to Myammar following a crackdown by the Bangladeshi Army and para-military, the Tripura Police chief said here today.

"Following the arrest and surrender of Bangladeshi trained militants in Tripura and getting inputs from various intelligence agencies, it was confirmed that the northeast militants are changing their base camps from Bangladesh to Myammar," Director General of Police Pranay Sahay told reporters.

The matter was discussed in the conference of directors general and inspectors general of police that was held in New Delhi last week, he said.

"Before they can shift their base, the Bangladesh government may by persuaded to take appropriate actions to nab the NE militants taking shelter in that country," Sahay said.

"Allmost all major separatist outfits of Northeast, including ULFA, cadres of both factions of NSCN, PLA and NLFT had either already fled or were slipping out to Myanmar as the Bangladesh Army launched a decisive campaign against them," he said.

Giving a specific instance, Sahay said: "Recently Bangladesh Army dismantled three NLFT camps in Khagracherri area in southeast Bangladesh and flushed out the militants before builing their own helipad in the camp locations."

"However, many militants and top leaders are still holed up in Bangladesh," he said in an indirect reference to ULFA leader Paresh Barua, NLFT supremo Ranjit Debbarma, Biswamohan Debbarma and others.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said at the conference that Tripura is the best governed state in the country in terms of curbing terrorism.

"Our success in combating militancy was discussed and praised at the DGPs' conference in New Delhi. In fact, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh models in effectively countering the militancy menace were highly appreciated," said Sahay.

"In 2008, there were total of 1,561 militancy related incidents which came down to 1,297 in 2009. This year so far 464 incidents were reported and total casualty stood this year at 15."

The DGP said that few years back, the terrorist-infested area in Tripura was 70 percent and now it has reduced to 7 to 8 percent of the entire northeastern state, bordering Bangladesh.

The DGPs' meet also dwelt on the emerging threat of Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) spy agency-sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Bangladesh where some "modules" were reported to have already come up.

The Tripura Police chief said that while the "ISI threat is real" in northeast India he did not foresee much of a Maoist scare in the region. "All such possibilities are being monitored at proper levels and pre-emptive actions were accordingly taken."

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