Action plan soon to hit militants across border

Action plan soon to hit  militants across border

India is preparing an action plan to deal with North-East insurgents holed up beyond its boundaries even as the government put the region on high alert following inputs about possible retaliatory attacks after the Army’s surgical strikes on terror camps inside Myanmar.

The move came as the country’s top political and military leadership analysed the Tuesday operations inside Myanmar — four days after 18 Army personnel were killed in Manipur’s Chandel district — and deliberated on possible repercussions. At a high-level meeting on Thursday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top Army officials, including Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Philip Campos, pored over piles of intelligence inputs before deciding to further step up alert in the region.

The security agencies had shared inputs that around two dozen insurgents of NSCN (Khaplang), People’s Liberation Army and Ulfa have sneaked into India from Myanmar to take revenge for the Army action that killed at least 38 insurgents in camps located in the neighbouring country. The leadership reviewed the situation and ordered utmost vigil.

Security officials said intelligence agencies are identifying camps run by insurgents in Myanmar with some reports suggesting there were about 65 camps across the border. The security establishment has already emphasised the need for both “defensive and offensive” strategy to tackle insurgents looking for ways to carry out spectacular attacks in the region.

They have expressed satisfaction over the June 4 operation and mulled over the possibility of carrying out more such precision killings in future to neutralise insurgents. There were four-five attempts to attack security forces in Manipur after the June 4 incident, the officials said.

None, however, spoke about the possibility of more strikes in the near future. Sources said such activities or plans could not be discussed in public as it would be counterproductive.

The meeting also discussed Doval’s visit to Myanmar for more coordinated operations. Doval is likely to brief Myanmarese leadership on the reasons why India took the “bold step” of ordering hot pursuit in their soil.

Sources said the government understood the situation of Myanmarese leadership as they would be facing a general election soon. Myanmar would not like to be seen as an active partner in the operations.

Reports had earlier suggested that India informed Myanmar about the strike only after completion of the operation, which had not gone down well with them.

Sources also claimed that NSCN (Isak-Muivah) had told the Centre that it was willing to help security forces to take on their rivals NSCN (K). However, the offer by NSCN (IM), which is in peace talks with the Centre, was turned down.

The rivalry between Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah on one side and S S Khaplang started way back in 1988 when they parted ways and formed separate outfits. Khaplang announced the formation of NSCN (K) after making an unsuccessful attempt on Muivah’s life.

Intelligence agencies also claimed that Khaplang was undergoing treatment in Yangon for age-related problems. He was shifted from his base in Tago, located along the Sino-Myanmar border, to Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon about four months ago, they said.

When he was shifted, Myanmar had informed India and New Delhi had given its nod. Khaplang’s outfit was in a ceasefire agreement with India then, but in April, he refused to renew it.

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