GUWAHATI, June 4 � Though the Government of Bangladesh has launched a crackdown against militants of North East using the territory of the country as safe haven, the recent arrests of militants by personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) proved that the militants still have a number of camps and bases in the neighbouring country.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that according to information available, the militant groups, particularly the groups of Manipur, still have camps in the Moulvi Bazar area, while, a number of other outfits including the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) are maintaining camps in the jungles in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border areas. Sources said that the militant groups of North East also have some camps in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) area.
In addition to those camps, the militant groups have their bases in a number of villages in Myanmar and there have been instances of militant leaders going to Bangladesh to take shelter whenever necessary. But sources admitted that the militants are not getting any patronage from the Government of Bangladesh as was the case in the past and the Government has also been taking strong action against militants.
Sources revealed that on May 25, the personnel of the BSF arrested one member of Meghalaya based militant group HNLC, Poli Tangson at Dawki when he was trying to cross over to India from Bangladesh. The cadre joined the militant outfit in 2007 and was sent to Niharpunjee camp of the outfit in Moulvi Bazar area of Bangladesh for training. He was staying in the Moulvi Bazar area for the last few years.
The BSF also achieved a major success on May 23 by nabbing three women cadres of Manipur based outfits PLA and KYKL when they were trying to cross over to India from their camps in Bangladesh. They were also arrested in Dawki area along with cash amounting to Rs 2.49 lakh and other items. They were on their way to Manipur from the camps of the militants in Khonagaon in Moulvi Bazar area.
Sources revealed that one of those arrested include the head of women�s wing of the PLA, Lily Laima Devi, who was also in charge of the publicity wing of the outfit and is known to be an expert in handling of explosives. She is a self styled colonel of the PLA. Her arrest is said to be a �big catch� for the security forces.
The other two arrested with Laima Devi are self styled captain of the PLA, Memma Devi and self styled Lieutenant of the KYKL L Chandra Rani, whose husband Sobha Singh is also a senior cadre of the KYKL.
Sources said that the recent arrests and the confessions of the arrested persons proved beyond doubt that the militant outfits of the North East are still maintaining strong bases in Bangladesh despite the crackdown by the Government.