New Delhi, Sept. 6: A joint platform formed by militants in Myanmar and resurgence of their activities in Bangladesh was on the agenda of a three-day annual directors-general of police conference that began here today.
“Besides dealing with co-operation among police forces in the Northeast, the conference will reveal the impact of insurgent groups in Myanmar and now again in Bangladesh,” said director of Intelligence Bureau, Nehchal Sandhu, in his address.
In the past three years, Dhaka handed over several rebel leaders from the Northeast.
These include almost the entire Ulfa leadership, apart from Paresh Barua and Anup Chetia, as well as some from the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).
Many like Barua crossed over to Myanmar where they found sanctuaries.
However, the Sheikh Hasina government has again come under a cloud, as the activity of militant groups has seen a revival.
R.N. Ravi, former special director in the IB, said Ulfa (anti-talks faction) and the Ranjan Daimary-led NDFB were not over and out in Bangladesh. “They are reportedly into small-time training,” said Ravi.
Whereas Daimary is ready for talks, his “army chief” I.K. Songbijit is still at large somewhere in Myanmar and poses a challenge to security forces.
Songbijit also has assets in Bangladesh, sources said.
Chetia, who is Barua’s mentor, went to Bangladesh in the 1990s and was jailed before he applied for asylum. His request is still pending in a Bangladesh court, the sources said.
With Bangladesh elections approaching next year, the government is keenly watching the developments in the neighbourhood.
Relations with Dhaka are said to be better especially after reciprocal visits by Hasina and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with chief ministers of the northeastern states. However, it is no time for complacency, security experts said. A co-ordination committee, now known CorCom, comprising seven armed groups is what Sandhu referred to today. “Many rebel groups in Manipur have developed a platform to target security forces,” he said.
Sources said there are reports of CorCom groups having shifted bases within Myanmar but despite its assurances to the Prime Minister this year, they have not been flushed out.
Sandhu also expressed concern about inter-factional clashes in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Naga rebels are fighting one another for dominance in pockets of these states.
The country’s police chief said the Centre had a plan for the Arunachal Pradesh government.
Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in his inaugural speech said he felt the security situation by and large in the northeastern states had improved because of the multi-pronged strategy adopted by the Centre towards demands of the militant groups operating in the region.