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Task Force to submit report soon

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, July 23 - Protecting the India-Myanmar border has become a priority for the Government of India and the Task Force set up by the Prime Minister to study security-related problems along the international border is likely to submit its report with recommendations shortly.

Highly placed sources in the Government of India told The Assam Tribune that the Task Force has completed its study of the ground situation. During the study, the Task Force took into confidence all the stakeholders, including the Governments of the States sharing the border with Myanmar, Assam Rifles, security forces engaged in counter-insurgency in the region, etc. The Task Force is expected to submit its report with recommendations shortly and with the Prime Minister himself taking a keen interest in the matter, it is likely that the recommendations will be implemented on the ground as soon as possible.

The sources pointed out that during his recent meeting with the Chief Ministers of the States of the region, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also stressed the need of setting up more police stations in the areas bordering Myanmar.

India shares 1,643 kilometres of the international border with Myanmar, covering four States � Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram � and so far only a small portion of the border, from Border Pillar No. 79 to No. 81 in Manipur, is being fenced. The Assam Rifles has been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border and 15 battalions of the force are engaged in the job. However, it is felt that the deployment of the Assam Rifles has failed to check the cross-border movement of militants, while most of the posts of the force are located well inside the Indian territory and not on the zero line.

Meanwhile, the sources said that security along the international border with Myanmar is not only important for restricting the movement of militants, but also for the implementation of the Act East Policy. Most of the active militant groups of the region have strong bases in Myanmar and there is the need to restrict their activities for the implementation of the Act East Policy with the improvement of connectivity.

On the other hand, the Government of Myanmar has time and again assured active support and cooperation to India in dealing with the militants using the territory of that country as safe sanctuary. �Myanmar�s main concern is that the citizens of that country should not be harmed in any way in the operations against the militants, the sources added.

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