New Delhi, June 16: The Intelligence Bureau can no longer take the issue of North East militancy lightly.
What appears to have missed completely the striking of a deal between NSCN-K chief S S Khaplang and the Thein Sein government in Myanmar.
This was a major development that took place recently which gave Khaplang the protection he needed. It appears as though this development was either not picked up by the Indian intelligence or was taken lightly.
What the Khaplang-Thein Sein deal means?
Khaplang who heads the NSCN-K one of the most dangerous militant groups is currently in Myanmar. He had ensured protection for himself and his troops when he signed a cease fire agreement with the Thein Sein government. As a result of this agreement, he was assured protection.
Further the agreement also ensured that his base in Sagaing, Myanmar was protected. The Myanmar government however ensured that there would raids at his camps, but none of it would be serious. Basically what was ensured that these raids would be just an eye-wash.
Myanmar has done more than it ought to have where Khaplang is concerned. He was moved with the protection of the Myanmar army into a hospital just ahead of the raids that the Indian army conducted on June 9th. While it was stated that he was unwell, many feel that this was a move in a bid to protect him.
How Khaplang's deal benefitted the rest?
Khaplang's deal with the Myanmar government was beneficial to the 14 other miliant groups that operate along the Indo-Myanmar border.
However the one who benefitted the most was Paresh Baruah the chief of the ULFA-I who has a considerable number of troops stationed at Myanmar. Baruah however is in China and remote controls the outfit from there.
Baruah and Khaplang have a good relationship. Several reports from the Indian Intelligence would suggest that Baruah is the one who remote controls Khaplang.
Baruah clearly has a stronger force and is backed by the Chinese. He is the one who ensures the supply of arms and ammunition to the NSCN-K.
When Khaplang's men moved out of India:
After the strike by the NSCN-K at Manipur, several members of the groups stationed on the Indian side of the border moved out. They all moved into Myanmar and this was something that the intelligence missed entirely.
The move by the NSCN-K cadres was a deliberate one and they were aware that moving into the Myanmar side would make it harder for the Indian army to track them.
The other aspect that needs to be taken note of is the tracking of Khaplang himself. While the deal between Khaplang and the Myanmar government was missed or not taken seriously, the Indian agencies believed that the NSCN-K leader was still in the jungles of Myanmar.
What the Indian agencies did not realize was that he was in a comfortable position and under the protection of the Myanmar government.