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Crackdown on Kukis, Myanmar infiltr
Subject: Crackdown on Kukis, Myanmar infiltrators (The Hindu, 11/12/96.)
Crackdown on Kukis, Myanmar infiltrators
The Hindu, 11/12/96.
IMPHAL, Dec. 10.
The State and Central forces have launched a two-pronged
offensive along the Indo-Myanmarese border against armed
Kuki insurgents, who are creating law and order problems, and
Mynamarese students and pro-democracy activists, who have
been trying to sneak into Manipur by masquerading as common
smugglers and traders who move daily between Moreh and
Tamu, border towns of Manipur and Myanmar.
Of late, tribals of the Kuki National Front have stepped up their
activity, looting bus passengers and truck drivers along the
national highway 39, which connects Moreh with Assam, apart
from the normal collection of "taxes" from Government
employees and traders. Now and then, the passengers going to
other States or going to Tamu to fetch foreign goods are
robbed of cash kind valuables.
Last week, the attention of security forces was distracted by
KNF insurgents, who detained some trucks coming to Imphal
with LPG cylinders and demanded Rs. 50,000 a truck as tax.
The insurgents asked the drivers to park their trucks near
Kangpokpi and then they seemed to have rushed to Chandel
district. There insurgents, numbering more than 50 and armed
with sophisticated weapons, allegedly looted the people of their
cash and valuables at Lokchao. The looting lasted for more
than three hours. At the time of the incident, no State and
Central forces rushed there; all they did was not to allow other
buses and trucks to enter the Lokchao area. The drivers and
passengers were angry that no police help came.
But a police officer told this correspondent that police could not
have done anything since the insurgents were holding the
drivers and passengers at gun point. Had the police ventured to
go there, the insurgents would have killed a number of
policemen and then escaped into mountains and forests.
All drivers have refused to ply vehicles in protest against the
police "inaction". They plan to resume the service only when
enough security arrangements are made. Police believe that the
Kuki insurgents fled to Myanmarese villages, where there are
numerous Kuki tribals, with the result that they can neither be
smoked out nor the booty recovered. The BSF and other
forces and agencies have been alerted to be on the lookout for
insurgents who may cross the international border by
masquerading as traders. Police believe that this group, which
looted the passengers, was also behind the killing of two army
personnel near Moreh some time ago.
Police, however, told this correspondent that as all vehicles
were not plying towards Moreh it would be comparatively easy
to single out KNF elements trying to cross the international
border' to evade arrest.
The process is to fix responsibility for the failure of the forces
to rush to Lokchao while the KNF insurgents were robbing
Meanwhile, intelligence reports say students and pro-democracy
activists from Myanmar have been trying to sneak into Manipur
since they feel Insecure after the military crackdown on
university students who had demonstrated in the capital,
Yangon, demanding a right to form unions. The students'
agitation synchronised with demonstrations and other activities
by the National League for Democracy in the capital.
Reports filtering in from across the international border say that
selective raids and rounding up of students in the region
bordering Manipur have already started, But the Manipur
Government, in the absence of clear instructions form the
Centre, is not ready to welcome the foreign students and pro-