New Delhi, June 17: Flushing out militants from Bhutan is the next priority for the Indian army which recently carried out an operation along the Indo-Myanmar border.
The Indo-Bhutan border has become home for the dangerous National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit) or the NDFB(S).
The NDFB(S) is the same group which carried out the Assam massacre in which it targeted women and children. Recently it formed an alliance with the NSCN(K) and the ULFA-I and has been threatening to launch strikes in the North Eastern states especially in Assam.
Over 100 militants holed up along Bhutan border:
The reserve forests in Bhutan has become home for militants of the NFDB(S). These militants have been carrying out strikes in India and then returning to their safe hideouts along the Indo-Bhutan border.
Based on the Intelligence Bureau inputs it has been found that there are nearly 100 highly trained militants of the NDFB(S) who are present in Bhutan. A large number of them are hiding in the Manas wildlife sanctuary.
The NDFB(S) has moved its command unit to Bhutan. Currently its top commanders and the general secretary of the group are also housed in Bhutan. They also have a set of militants hiding in Myanmar with the help of the NSCN-K which carried out the Manipur attack in which 18 Indian army soldiers were killed.
Operation All Out:
The Indian army now plans on flushing out the militants from Bhutan. The Operation All Out was first conducted at Bhutan in the year 2003. In the year 2003, the army had targeted base camps of the ULFA and the NDFB.
The 2003 operation was a major success and the Indian army did manage to neutralize several camps. This time around too the Indian army is confident of the operation being a success.
The Indo-Bhutan border is likely to be sealed when this operation commences. Currently the Indian and the Royal Bhutan army are on high alert to ensure that the militants are not able to move out of their base camps.
Crucial meeting tomorrow:
A meeting of top security officials with their counterparts from Bhutan will be held on June 18th. The meeting would discuss the modalities to be followed during this operation.
This would however be a joint operation with the armies of both nations taking part in it. The Bhutan government has already assured India of all cooperation and has said that it does not want militants on its soil.
There have been a series of communication between the Indian and Bhutan government already.
The operation date and time is not something we can reveal, but it is on said a Home Ministry official. We are taking steps to ensure that the militants are not able to move out of their bases for now.
There have been instances when information has leaked and the militants have managed to get out of Bhutan and enter into West Bengal and Assam, the official also informed.