With the heat being stepped up along the Indo-Myanmar in a bid to flush out militants, the Indian army just cannot afford to let its guard down.
There are three developments that are likely to follow in the aftermath of this assault.Let us examine what the aftermath of such an assault by the Indian army along the Myanmar border could lead to.
National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval will hold a series of meetings in the days to come and even visit Myanmar to take stock of the situation. The three immediate developments to watch out for would be:
- The North Eastern militants could combine as a united force
- A full fledged government in exile may be formed
- More attacks could be staged on Indian soil
A combined force by North East militants:
Currently, in the North East there are 94 terrorist and insurgent groups that operate. They have by and large been a divided force all these years. The bone of contention has always been one group opposing peace talks while the other rejecting it.
Coupled with this is the issue of leadership and supremacy and due to these differences several groups have broken into multiple factions. However with the army launching an assault on these militants, India would need to keep a close watch on the developments.
The formation of the United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) recently comprising several North Eastern militant groups was the first indication that these groups were trying to fight under one umbrella. The fact remains that there are at least a 1000 militants of various groups which are operating along the Indo-Myanmar border.
This assault by the Indian army has put these groups into disarray and they would now try and come together as one force as they have a common enemy now.
Government in exile:
Militant groups would now try and burry their differences. What they would want to be part of is not a terrorist or insurgent group. They would want to run a government with a common agenda for North East. This could lead to the setting up of a government in exile.
The S S Khaplang run NSCN-K already has a government in exile. More groups would join in to be part of this government. With a government they would be able to strategize better and would like to abide by one common rule. A government in exile would also give these groups a validity through which they could hold talks with foreign nations seeking support.
More strikes in India and a different approach:
Yesterday the Intelligence Bureau warned of retaliatory strikes in North East against the recent army action. While there is a good chance that these militants may strike back only to show that they are not down and out, the days to come will see them adopting a whole new strategy.
The Indian army which launched an offensive on them is likely to continue doing so. The North Eastern militant groups are likely to move slightly away from violence and try and rope in other nations to tackle the problem. They are aware that donning the role of killers will only give them a terrorist tag and they would like to move away from this image.
This image building exercise would be done through the government in exile which they propose to set up in with all seriousness. The next couple of months would see these groups and their leaders working out new plots and find ways to counter the Indian government.