Northeast militants getting arms from China, Myanmar: BSF

Shillong: Militants in the northeastern region continue to receive “substantial quantity” of illegal arms and ammunition from China and Myanmar, a senior Border Security Force official said Tuesday.

“There are isolated instances of arms and ammunition entering into the country across the international border with Bangladesh, but a substantial quantity was coming from the international border with Myanmar and China,” Sudesh Kumar, inspector general of BSF in-charge of Meghalaya frontier, told journalists.

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“Unlike in the western frontier, where manning of the border is much easier due to the topography, guarding the eastern frontier is much more difficult owing to the hilly rugged and mountainous terrain as well as poor visibility (that) adds to the woes of our troopers,” he said.

Kumar, who looks after the 443-km International Border with Bangladesh, said his troopers give their best in guarding the border and prevent cross-border crimes and infiltration of militants from Bangladesh into India.

Most of these illicit arms and ammunition from Myanmar and China were transhipped to Dimapur, the main commercial town in Nagaland bordering Assam, and thereafter smuggled out to other states in the country.

“On several occasions, the Unified Command and Assam Rifles have intercepted huge consignment of arms and ammunition in Assam which were meant for rebel outfits operating in Meghalaya,” Kumar said.

Stating that fencing of the India-Bangladesh border cannot be the only deterrent to check the flow of arms and ammunition and the infiltration of militants and Bangladeshi nationals from across the border, Kumar said the BSF has intensified its vigilance along the India-Bangladesh border. Also troopers are being equipped with modern electronic gadgets in the most vulnerable areas.

Quoting intelligence inputs, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma recently said a huge quantity of arms is now available across the northeast.

“Where are these guns coming from? That means there is some formidable anti-national force working overtime, and that is why these guns and explosives are coming. This needs to be addressed jointly by all the state governments and the Centre,” Sangma said.