nscn camp in myanmar
Representative image of NSCN;K camp in Myanmar. Image courtesy: Mizzima

The Burmese army, Tatmadaw, has taken more than a dozen leaders of the NSCN-K faction into custody after the operation against their base at Taga in Sagaing Division of Myanmar last month.

Top Burmese army officials told Northeast Now that these leaders have been told to dismantle their bases in Sagaing and continue their negotiations with Burmese authorities under the framework of the Nationwide Ceasefire arrangement.

The NSCN-K has maintained the ceasefire arrangement with Myanmar government since 2012, despite reneging on their ceasefire with India.

“We will not allow any hostile activity against India from our soil,” said a top Burmese army official but he requested anonymity because he was not officially authorized to speak to the media.

The Tatmadaw raided the NSCN-K bases at Taga in early February and dismantled them. The NSCN-K leaders did not resist because they wanted to maintain the ceasefire.

The Burmese army official said that the NSCN-K leaders will have to remain in designated camps and not carry out any hostile activity against India from Burmese soil.

The Burmese army has also attacked ULFA bases and that of Manipuri rebel groups in and around Taga. Some ULFA rebels like ‘Major’ Jyotirmoy Asom have died in the Burmese army operation.

Sources in NSCN-K confirmed that they have been told to stop aiding anti-Indian rebel groups or face severe consequences.

The developments in Sagaing spells the death knell of the north-eastern rebel groups because this remote hill region in Myanmar was their last trans-border base area after Bhutan and Bangladesh had cracked down against anti-Indian rebels in their territory in 2003 and 2009.

Indian army sources say many rebels from Manipur and Assam have surrendered to authorities after fleeing Sagaing following the Burmese military operations.

“The chain of command in these groups has broken down following the Burmese military operation. Many of them are running around like headless chickens,” they said.

Burmese military officials say they have ‘excellent understanding ‘ with Indian military officials, cemented during the last several months following regular visits by top commanders on either side.

Subir Bhaumik

Subir Bhaumik is a Kolkata-based senior journalist. He can be reached at: sbhaum@gmail.com

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