Myanmar army hands over 12 Manipuri UGs
IMPHAL, 15th May: Myanmar Army handed over 22 northeast insurgents including 12 cadres of four Manipur based UG groups, who have been languishing in Myanmar jail for months to the Government of India on Friday afternoon. The 12 UG cadres from Manipur were handed over to Manipur police.
The UG cadres from Manipur are PREPAP-Pro’s Pashuram Laishram of Kakching & Premananda alias Harjit alias Kulajit of Moirang; UNLF’s Naoba alias Nganba of Tera Urak, Masom alias Sinthoi of Lilong Heinou Makhong, Sanatomba Ningthoujam alias Manaoba alias So Naing of Pangaltabi, Sanjay alias Naocha alias Punsiba of Kachi Khul Maning Leikai, Balaram Takhellambam alias Loijing of Kwakeithel Heinoukhongnembi, Pratap alias Naitomnganba of Thoubal Wangkhem Huidrom Leikai, Ajay Koijam alias Uttam of Thoubal Kiyam Siphai; PLA’s Athoi alias Khoiramba of Wangkhei Ningthem Pukhri Mapal, Kennedy Aribam alias Nongdren of Pukhrambam Leirak Wangkhei; and KYKL’s Santosh alias Kanta of Heirok Heituppokpi Part 1.
According to reliable sources, they were brought in a special flight of Indian Air Force AN32 which landed at Imphal Airport around 3.25 pm Friday and took off for its next stop in Guwahati. Police team led by Imphal West SP received the 12 from the airport.
The source said that they had spent several months in Myanmar’s Khanti jail and were included among the Indians released recently. They were taken to RIMS hospital where their swab samples were collected for testing. Later, they have been kept under quarantine at 7th MR battalion, Khabeisoi.
“This is a huge step for the Myanmar government and a reflection of the deepening ties between the two countries,” Hindustan Times quoted a top government official as saying soon after the aircraft with a planeload of insurgents took off from Myanmar.
The plane first made a stopover in Manipur capital Imphal, before heading to Assam’s Guwahati. The insurgents have been handed over to the local police in the two states. An Assam Police officer said the insurgents were being placed in quarantine in line with guidelines for movement of people in light of the coronavirus disease.
“This is the first time that the Myanmar government has acted on India’s request to hand over leaders of the northeast insurgent groups,” a senior national security planner said about the operation driven by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
This is seen as a result of increasing intelligence and defence cooperation between the two countries from both sides.
Among those deported by Myanmar are some senior and long-wanted Indian insurgent leaders such as NDFB (S) self-styled home secretary Rajen Daimary, Capt Sanatomba Ningthoujam of UNLF and Lt Pashuram Laishram of PREPAK (Pro).
The remaining 10 are linked to Assam groups such as NDFB (S) and KLO.
Last year, the Myanmar army carried out continuous operations through February and March 2019 on the basis of pin-pointed intelligence provided by Indian security agencies.
The Myanmar army attacked multi-group terror camps at Taga in the north of the country across the Vijaynagar salient in Arunachal Pradesh in the first phase, and decimated Arakan, Nilgiri and Haukyat camps in the second.
The 22 insurgents were caught by the Myanmar army in Sagaing Region in these operations.
A national security official said Myanmar’s decision to hand over the insurgents is a huge message to the outfits that Naypyidaw is in sync with New Delhi on dealing with them.
Indian officials expect Myanmar’s action to be a deterrent to groups that had assumed the dense forests across the border could insulate them from action. Just as the one created by the United Arab Emirates, once considered a haven for Indian criminals on the run, when it started deporting criminals and terrorists wanted in India, Hindustan Times reported.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times)