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Naga rebel groups foment trouble in Arunachal

By Anurag Kashyap
September 26, 2011 18:26 IST
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Rebel groups, particularly militants from National Socialist Council of Nagaland factions, are creating trouble in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. These militants are taking advantage of the mountainous terrain as well as the lack of manpower and firepower of the Arunachal Pradesh police to tackle insurgents armed with sophisticated weapons.

Concerns about the growing clout of NSCN rebels and the resultant deteriorating law and order situation in Tirap and Changlang districts bordering Myanmar have been expressed by none other than Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister Takar Marde, who has urged the Centre to provide a special package to the north-eastern hill state to deal with the situation.

The ceasefire with the NSCN factions -- Isak-Muivah and the NSCN-Khaplang -- is valid within the territorial boundary of Nagaland and doesn't prevent them from taking up arms within the territory of Arunachal Pradesh.

The NSCN rebels have consolidated their presence in Tirap and Changlang so that they have unhindered access to their bases in the remote regions of neighbouring Myanmar.

The presence of a sizeable population of Nagas in Tirap and Changlang districts has also worked to the advantage of rebels.

The NSCN-IM has included these two Arunachal districts in its proposed map of greater Nagalim.

The NSCN rebels have been helping militants from other insurgent groups of the region, including the United Liberation Front of Asom and National Democratic Front of Bodoland of Assam, and various outfits from Manipur, with safe passage to Myanmar.

Marde said, "People in Tirap and Changlang districts fear to speak openly about the threat they are facing from various Naga underground outfits operating there."

Marde also criticised Nagaland's ruling party Naga People's Front, accusing it of taking help from rebel groups in its effort to expand its base to Arunachal Pradesh, claiming that the NPF would never be accepted there.

Recently, the NSCN-K asked all the 12 Arunachal Pradesh legislators from Tirap and Changlang regions to quit their seats in the state assembly to protest against a move by the government to facilitate Army operations against Naga rebels in areas bordering Myanmar.

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