[Assam] ISI has launched anti-India action through Bangladesh: book

Pradip Kumar Datta pradip200 at yahoo.com
Mon May 28 01:35:33 PDT 2007

ISI has launched  anti-India action through Bangladesh: book

 NEW DELHI, May 27 – A former Indian Army officer has claimed that  Pakistan’s ISI has launched a “new” anti-India operation through Bangladesh,  while Chinese support to insurgency in the North-east has “not fully dried  up”.

“The Chinese stopped supporting insurgency in the Northeast in 1979.  But intelligence reports indicate that the Chinese support has not fully dried  up,” retired Brig Dr SP Sinha, who was commissioned in the 9 Gorkha Rifles and  served the region for decades, said in a recent book. 

Regarding  Pakistan’s role, he said Bangladesh was being developed as a new base for its  “anti-India operations” and Pakistan has reportedly “shifted almost 200  terrorist training camps from Pak-occupied Kashmir to Bangladesh”.

The  book, Lost Opportunities: 50 Years of Insurgency in the North-east and India’s  Response, brought out by Lancer Publishers, deals with insurgency – ranging from  Manipur and Nagaland to Assam and covers all States of the regions, including  the present peace processes.

Painting a grim picture on the Naga issue,  Sinha said, “The ongoing peace process is already faltering” on the issue of  creation of Greater Nagaland or Nagalim. 

“The Army has been warning that  the Naga rebels are using the ceasefire for consolidating their position. In  many parts of Nagaland and Manipur, the insurgents run a parallel government and  have levied household taxes,” besides even advertising in newspapers for  recruitment in the underground government.

“The government will do well  to prepare to cope with such a situation, if the talks fail,” the former Army  officer warned. 

Maintaining that narco-terrorism was the greatest threat  to security in the region, Sinha said the North-east has emerged as a major  transit route for drug trade and gunrunning.

Observing that an indicator  of the scale of narco-trade was the high incidence of drug abuse in Manipur,  Mizoram and Meghalaya, he said most of the drug trade was routed through Moreh  in Manipur.

“The Naga-Kuki clashes are direct consequence of insurgent  groups trying to control the road from Moreh to Imphal to facilitate the illegal  trade. The demand for funds will fuel illegal trade in narcotics in a big way in  future,” the former Army officer said, adding that no insurgent group could  sustain itself without regular flow of funds.

Observing that the  North-east was “profoundly affected” by the events and trends in the growth of  Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh, he said the juxtaposition of illegal  Bangladeshi immigration, now consisting mainly of Muslims, and the rising  religious militancy has “frightening consequences for India”. He said the  continuance of infiltration would create social tension and conflict on a much  larger scale than experienced before.

Referring to problems faced in  fencing the Indo-Bangla border, Sinha said in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura  while the distance between two border posts was 7-9 km, there were a number of  villages located right on the border and some even beyond the fence. This keeps  the area wide open for villagers and even infiltrators to pass through.  

The book by Brig Sinha also critically examines the government’s  responses and counter-insurgency strategies – from finding a military solution  to winning the hearts and minds of the people. – PTI


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