'North-East insurgent groups visited China'

 The Union Home Ministry has confirmed “firm contacts” of extremists with Chinese agencies who are seeking to guide insurgent leaders in India. “Agents of insurgent groups are in contact with Chinese Intelligence agencies which are facilitating clandestine arms supply to various extremist elements operating in the North-East,” sources said.

There was a report that arms agents in India were even offered “surface-to-air missiles” by the Chinese intelligence agencies. The Ministry has, however, said there was “no specific report” on this suggestion.

Intelligence and security forces have been alerted by the Centre and neighbours like Myanmar and Bangladesh have been apprised of the Indian concerns over sophisticated arms being smuggled through their lands, according to the ministry. The Intelligence Bureau is in contact with the local intelligence and police on a real-time basis. 

According to the Ministry, weapons from China are being smuggled by insurgent groups through the Thailand and Sino-Myanmar borders to the north-eastern states.  “The acquisition of arms is facilitated by the easy availability of weapons in the Sino-Myanmar border towns like Tengchong, Ruili and Yingjiang in Yunnan province,” they said.       

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