Even as the intensity of search patrolling and exchange of intelligence between the discretely placed sources and the defence personnel of the country has been increased, there is (still) more to a whiff of unfortunate events of these militants harbouring and slipping away under the nose of the Army personnel.
With respect to the news published in the “Assam Tribune” on Friday, June 9th, 2017, on Chinese agencies planning proxy war on NE ultras, we cannot entirely rule out the facts that the militant outfits are being motioned by Chinese help in one way or the other, and they seem to have come down on a common platform to operate together in these regions. Highly placed sources have mentioned that they were tasked to target the Indian Army and the Police Forces, it’s very certain that the recent attacks in Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, and Meghalaya by ULFA (I), GNLA and NSCN (K) have been in the interest of China’s recent policies to dismantle this corner of the country.
In the effort to curb the influence of fanatic groups, in these two days we have seen a number of ground level operations from the Defence personnel against these outfits which have resulted in either gunning down of ultras, though quite a few in number and seizing of their arms and ammunitions, or surrendering of a few number of them. In the light of the latter one, certain hardcore ultras like Ron Asom, have led to a massive hit to the groups.
Now citing a few more News Headlines on the concern, one in which DGP Mukesh Sahay’s remark “low conviction rate in Assam a concern” (on 29th May 2017) has brought the attention to the state law enforcement’s inefficiency to investigate crimes and map terrorists and antisocial elements lurking around in the streets of the place.
So if you see the recent events on the criminal activities in the state, their frequency has in fact risen. We have witnessed the rise of kidnapping for extortion, mostly of minors and businessmen, the robbery in MP Jewellers by using weapons, the ATMs, drug rackets, and of course the corruptions. Though it’s very fragile to create a link, in the most lethal cases, sophisticated weapons were seen to be involved. The question, therefore, is from whom and where these muggers receiving the weapons and where to are the money flowing.
9th June 2017, two discrete events took place which could be connected somehow with the basis. One was the Police and the Special Forces (SF)-10 encounter with the (Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in West Khasi Hills, leaving two cadres dead and where a Chinese rifle and one SBML gun were recovered. The second was the bust of an illegal gun manufacturing unit in Langol Games Village in Manipur. From the unit, along with the guns, 97 demand letters of “Terrorist Revolutionary Army”, and a few more intriguing articles were recovered. Therefore, the greatest concern that leaves us is that who were training and funding these people to manufacture guns, and what intentions TRA has with these weapons. Both of them apparently were in the preparation to recruit more soldiers into their group and attack the Indian Army personnel at some point in time in future. The fact of the matter is, these militant outfits have in several times succeeded in ambushing our military personnel.
Sometimes, it has occurred to me that at times there had been some mismatched in the intelligence provided and the ground realities at the sites (being mentioned), or due to lack of proper technology and technique, that ambush could have been prevented and the terrorists would have been spotted before they had seen what was coming for them. And maybe, with the proper technology and latest weapons, loss of lives to martyrs like Major David Manlun could have been averted during the encounters with the militant outfits, like the NSCN-K and ULFA(I).
So the deficiency of last mentioned technologies by the Indian Army, like the “through the wall radar system”, have helped the militants to stay unnoticed in their hideouts behind the proxy walls or false ceilings or underground cavity when being raided. And that happened on July 8th last year when the security personnel on anti-terror operation against the Kashmiri poster-boy Burhan Wani missed him twice on raiding his lair. So in such cases, although many have gone unreported, there wasn’t any intelligence input failure from the whistle blowers but the human error on the sites.
In light of the recent Defence Budget on February 1st, 2017, recent technologies have been ordered that would aid the personnel in the ground. We know that technology is a must to enhance precision in counteracting against the terrorist activities to prevent loss of lives of the soldiers. And in the North-East of India, as the DGP responded, we are lagging insufficient human resources to map the anti-social activities and bringing them into the light of intensive prosecution. We have a lot to go ahead with because with the recent dreadful headwinds and China in the interest of the matter, it’s undeniable about the lethal intentions of the enemies of the State. We need to act faster and smartly. My appeal to the Government would be to reinstate the latest equipment, weapons, and health services to the soldiers in the ground in the effort to contain the damage the soldiers face during any operations and have a constant edge against the militants.
So in the future, could there be peace in the valley? The Union Home Minister Kiren Rijiju’s recent remarks on solidarity with the rebel factions active in the North-East regions, and comments like “their demands (except independence from Indian Constitution) are worth considering” could prove the same.
But again in the recent events, like the demise of the NSCN(K) Chairman SS Khaplang, who also spearheaded the umbrella organisation from Myanmar, had seen a new leader Khango Konyak. Thus, only time shall tell what he would lead to and how his leadership would go about. Because for now, there are still some kind of misunderstanding and disagreement among the different group leaders.
So if their interest, at the end of the diplomatic talks with India, settles for a peace accord, could China still stir up the noise? Probably yes!
Thus until and unless this valley remains deprived of basic amenities like literacy, jobs, etc, China would always find it easy going by playing with these factions. Thus, it’s high time that the Centre should see eye to eye with them.
(by Sidhanth Majumder)
The author can be contacted at sidhanthm.123
The views reflected in this piece are that of the author and need not necessarily be that of TNT-The Northeast Today