China aiding Indian rebel groups with Myanmar bases: Assam official

Chinese intelligence agencies have been providing assistance to insurgent groups in northeastern India with bases in Myanmar, a senior Indian police officer said last week, media reported.

Mr L.R. Bishnoi, the Additional Director-General of Police in Assam, also said the leader of the United Liberation Front of Assam, Mr Paresh Barua, had established a base in Ruili, a Chinese border town opposite Muse in Shan State, the Indian Express reported.

Barua was planning to procure weapons from the Chinese agencies for distribution to smaller armed groups in northeastern India, Bishnoi said at a briefing for newly-elected members of the Assam Legislative Assembly in Dispur, the state capital, on January 10.

“These groups are under increasing influence of the Chinese agencies, and ULFA leader Paresh Barua is among those top leaders who have been in regular touch with the Chinese liaison office in Ruili on the China-Myanmar border,” Bishnoi was quoted as saying.

Bishnoi said some of the groups with bases in Myanmar, including the Barua faction of the ULFA and the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, had launched a new strategy of joint attacks on security forces across the border in India.

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He said there were at least 10 northeastern Indian rebel groups with bases and hideouts in Myanmar used by nearly 2,500 militants.

Khaplang’s faction of the NSCN was the largest, with about 1,000 men, followed by the People’s Liberation Army of Manipur with about 260, the United National Liberation Front with about 230 and Barua’s ULFA faction, with a little over 200, Bishnoi said.

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