ULFA opens camps in Myanmar
The United Liberation Front of Asom has opened camps in Myanmar besides retaining its camps in Bangladesh and Bhutan, according to Lieutenant General R K Sawhney.
General Sawhney, chief of the Unified Command which combats terrorism in Assam, revealed that there were at least two or three ULFA camps in Myanmar.
These camps are being used as transit points to transport arms from South East Asia to Assam.
Military intelligence officers present at the briefing confirmed that ULFA still has camps inside
Bangladesh, although there were reports earlier that these bases were moved to
The general said there were about 20 camps inside
Bhutan sheltering about 2,500 ULFA activists. The camps, General Sawhney added, had good training
facilities and are beyond the army's striking range.
The general, however, denied that army commandos had entered
Bhutan to attack these camps. "We cannot do that nor have
we done that," he said.
With the end of the North-East monsoon, the army is all set
to launch a major offensive against the extremists. The monsoon,
the general said, hobbles anti-insurgency operations in the
Indo-Bhutan area which are covered with
some of the most dense forest cover in South Asia.
Senior divisional commanders alleged that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence
directorate was controlling ULFA's activities from Dhaka.
"This is a known fact and there is hard evidence also," the army officers asserted.
"It is the ISI which arranges hawala transactions for ULFA to
buy arms from the South East Asian market. The consignments are
offloaded at Teknaf on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border and then taken
to Myanmar with the help of the Arakan National Army. It then enters India
through Aizawl," they added.
The commanders also revealed that part of the
consignments are routed to the LTTE; some of the weapons even find its way to Northern India. "This is a cottage industry in Myanmar. We have hard evidence
of arms supply. The LTTE is clearly a beneficiary of the arms movement."
Lt Gen Sawhney said it was not possible to seal the 400-km-long
Indo-Bhutan border to prevent ULFA cadres from returning to India.
He, however, felt ULFA was swiftly losing its clout in Assam. Thirty
ULFA members have been killed in the last two months.