Maoist-PLA links broken, says government

Imphal, May 31 (IANS) The tie-up between Maoists and the Manipur-based People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been broken, according to a senior official in the central home ministry.

Shambhu Singh, joint secretary (northeast) in the ministry, also told IANS that Indian militants hiding in Myanmar were finding it difficult to infiltrate into India.

“The link between Maoists and Manipur’s PLA has been broken due to logistical problems in Myanmar and the strong presence of security forces along the India-Myanmar border,” Singh said.

He said this happened after the outlawed PLA shifted its training camps to Taga in northern Myanmar.

The PLA and Maoists signed a pact Oct 22, 2008 in which the Manipur group pledged to provide arms trainers to Maoists in Jharkhand.

It also agreed to train Maoists at the PLA base in Myanmar.

Singh said Maoist leaders had visited Manipur and Nagaland but had not been able to establish themselves.

He said the Maoists’ sole presence in the northeast was in Assam, where police recently arrested several Maoist activists, including Anukul Chandra Naskar, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist.

Singh also said the PLA, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Sumarjit faction) and the anti-talk ULFA faction operating out of Myanmar were facing difficulties in infiltrating into India.

“(This is) because security forces have blocked most (border) routes,” he said.

The official said the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland had cautioned the United Liberation Front of Asom and NDFB not to move out of Myanmar.

He added: “Troop deployment from Assam Rifles has improved on the Indian side. Hence it has become difficult for the rebel groups to infiltrate and carry out their operations.”

Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, has the twin responsibilities of guarding the 1,643-km treacherous India-Myanmar border and conducting counter-insurgency operations in Manipur and Nagaland.

Singh admitted there were certain areas along the international border that need better security. “But the overall troop deployment has improved,” he said.

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