Armies of India, Myanmar target NE militants in coordinated operation
New Delhi: The armies of India and Myanmar carried out a three-week-long coordinated operation from May 16 in their respective border areas, targeting several militant groups operating in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam, defence sources said on Sunday.
The first phase of “Operation Sunrise” was conducted three months ago along the Indo-Myanmar border, during which a number of camps of north-east-based militant groups were busted.
Myanmar is one of the strategic neighbours of India and shares a 1,640-km border with a number of north-eastern states, including the militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.
India has been pushing for a deeper coordination between the armies of the two countries while guarding the border.
Sources said during “Operation Sunrise 2”, the armies coordinated with each other to bust camps of militant outfits, including the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), the NSCN (Khaplang), the United Liberation Front of Assam (I) and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).
They said at least six dozen militants belonging to these groups were nabbed and several of their camps destroyed during the operation.
The sources said the two sides might launch the third phase of the operation, depending on intelligence inputs and the ground situation.
Besides the Indian Army, troops from the Assam Rifles were also part of the operation.
In June 2015, the Indian Army had carried out an operation against NSCN(K) militants in areas near the Indo-Myanmar border, days after militants killed 18 armymen in Manipur.
In the first phase of “Operation Sunrise”, the Indian Army targeted members of the Arakan Army, an insurgent group in Myanmar, who were opposed to the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project.
The Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project is viewed as India’s gateway to Southeast Asia.
India entered into a framework agreement with Myanmar in April, 2008 to facilitate the implementation of the project. On completion, the project will help connect the north-eastern state of Mizoram with the Sittwe Port in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
On the Indian side, work is on to extend the Aizawl-Saiha National Highway by 90 km to the international border at Zorinpui.
According to security agencies, there were over 50 camps of insurgent groups from the north-east in Myanmar till last year.