AGARTALA/AIZAWL, April 16: India would strengthen vigil along its border with Myanmar to check drugs and arms smuggling besides movement of inimical elements, including militants, officials said on Thursday.
“We would further strengthen the security along the India’s border with Myanmar to check smuggling of drugs, arms and other contraband items,” a senior Assam Rifles official told IANS, wishing anonymity.
“The vigil would also be reinforced to stop trans-border movement of extremists and other inimical elements,” the official said.
He said: “It is a tough task to guard the unfenced mountainous borders with a full-proof security. Additiol Assam Rifles troopers would also be deployed along the Myanmar borders.” Four northeastern states - Aruchal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km), galand (215 km) and Mizoram (510 km) - share 1,643-km unfenced border with Myanmar.
Smuggling of drugs, arms, animal pieces, various contraband goods is rampant across the India-Myanmar border, specially along Mizoram’s border with that country.
According to Mizoram Police, seven AK-47 assault rifles, two AK-56 rifles, six US-made M-16 rifles, four MA-3 Mk-II rifles, two hand gredes, three kg of RDX, around 8,000 rounds of ammunition of different guns and 312 boxes of special and ordiry detotors have been seized by the security forces in Mizoram last year.
“Bulk of the seized arms and ammunition were suspected to have been meant for Chakma militant outfit operating in neighbouring Bangladesh and these were mainly smuggled from Myanmar,” a Mizoram police official said.
Mizoram also shares an unfenced 318 km intertiol border with Bangladesh.
According to intelligence officials, Bangladeshi rebels belonging to the Chakma tribal community - Parbartya Chattagram Ja Samhati Samati (PCJSS) - are involved in the arms smuggling.
PCJSS’s armed wing Shanti Bahini has been demanding sovereign status for tribals in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of southeast Bangladesh and had waged guerrilla warfare against Bangladesh for two decades until 1997.
Though the Shanti Bahini had signed an agreement with the Bangladesh government in 1997, a splinter group is still active in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. IANS