NE attack


Attack on Assam Rifles camp in Arunachal may be prelude to bigger strike, say security agencies


By Times of India

Sunday's attack on an Assam Rifles camp in Arunachal Pradesh could be a prelude to a major action by the NSCN (K) and its affiliates against security forces in the area, Indian security agencies suspect.

 On Sunday morning, just three days after militants killed 18 army soldiers in Chandel, about 50 militants attacked the camp in Tirap district. Thanks to precise intelligence given in advance to the camp, the attack was repulsed, officials said.

 Intelligence agencies, however, do not think that the success of Assam Rifles against militants would mean any lasting peace in Tirap and Changlang districts, which share a porous border with Myanmar. They have been observing significant movement of arms and militants into the districts in recent weeks, especially since SS Khaplang faction of NSCN (Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland) pulled out of their 14-year-old ceasefire with the government.


Officials said they are expecting a bigger action in the area. Given the frequency with which the NSCN (K) and its allies have been attacking the security forces, the next major attack has to be expected in a few weeks' time, they said.

 Violence level in northeast, which had gone down over the last three-four years, has been deteriorating ever since NSCN (K) pulled out of the ceasefire agreement.

 The situation would be complicated by the proximity of NSCN (K) with the Burmese army and the new coalition of militant groups led by the naga rebels. Among the groups that are now with NSCN (K) are Paresh Baruah faction of ULFA, NDFB(S), KLO, and a couple of other Meitei insurgent groups.

 Their safe haven in Myanmar and robust supply of money and arms all portend difficult times for the region.

 New Delhi has adopted an aggressive security strategy in the wake of recent attacks of soldiers, and believes the success of army against NDFB in recent months can be replicated against NSCN (K). Army has stepped up its operations against militants since the Chandel attack.