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Chinese intelligence agencies have been helping various insurgent groups of North-eastern India having bases in Myanmar, and top anti-talk faction of ULFA Paresh Barua has currently set up base in Ruili, a Chinese town in the Myanmar border. Disclosing this, L R Bishnoi, Additional Director-General of Police, Assam, on Tuesday here also said that Paresh Barua had also drawn up plans to supply arms procured from Chinese agencies to smaller armed groups of the North-eastern region. “Barua in fact has been in Ruili for quite a long time, and only occasionally visits the ULFA camps that are located closer to the Indian border primarily because of security reasons,” Bishnoi said.
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Ruili is an important Chinese border town in the Yunnan Province famous for bustling border trade – both legal and illegal – with Myanmar. Various ethnic communities having members on the Indian side in Arunachal Pradesh have reportedly made it easier for the Northeast rebel groups to find local support there.
“Chinese intelligences have been helping, directly or indirectly various insurgent groups of the North-eastern region that have their bases and hideouts inside Myanmar. These groups are under increasing influence of the Chinese agencies, and ULFA leader Paresh Barua is among those top leaders who have been in regular touch with the Chinese liaison office in Ruili on the China-Myanmar border,” ADGP LR Bishnoi said. He was speaking at an orientation programme called “Sabal Bidhayak” for newly-elected members of the Assam Legislative Assembly here.
Pointing out that camps of different rebel groups including the Barua faction of ULFA and Khaplang faction of NSCN were “still intact” inside Myanmar, Bishnoi said that these groups have now taken to launching joint attacks on security forces on the Indian side. “They have launched a new strategy of launching combined attack on security forces in districts close to the Myanmar border. While extortion continues to be a menace, it has drastically come down in the recent months,” he added.
Khaplang’s is the largest group: Giving a break-up of the cadre strength of different North-eastern rebel groups in Myanmar, ADGP Bishnoi said that while the Khaplang faction of NSCN had over 1,000 cadres there, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) – a Manipuri group came second with over 250 men.
“Taking into account at least ten North-eastern rebel groups having their bases and hideouts in Myanmar, there should be close to 2,500 militants from the region in that country. Of them NSCN(K) alone has a little over 1,000 men, followed by around 260 of the PLA, 230 of the UNLF and a little over 200 of the ULFA faction of Paresh Barua,” Bishnoi said.
According to him, the strength of the NSCN(IM) there would be between 80 and 120, NDFB(S) about 160, KYKL, Prepak and Prepak (Progressive) around 10 each. “Two things that have been happening there is that while the rebel groups of the region work in close coordination, they get almost 100 per cent support from the local communities close to the Indo-Myanmar who belong to various Naga tribes. These villagers not only provide them food and shelter, but also guide them through the mountainous track,” Bishnoi said.