India, Myanmar start joint border patrolling

Assam Rifles Chief Lt Gen Harminderjit Singh Sachdev on Friday said that India and Myanmar had started joint border patrolling in some stretches of their "unfenced border".

"The patrolling has not started all over but in some specific areas. They (Myanmar Army) also come and we also go there (Myanmar)," Sachdev told IANS on the sidelines of the investiture ceremony of Assam Rifles.

India has been urging Myanmar to act against rebels including from the Manipur-based United National Liberation Front, People's Liberation Army (PLA), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup and People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, Assam-based United Liberation Front of Asom and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang operating from Sagaing and Chin State of Myanmar.

Assam Rifles, the country's oldest paramilitary force, guards the 1,643-km India-Myanmar border and also conducts counter-insurgency operations in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Nagaland.

The Assam Rifles chief hoped that the new elected government in Myanmar will reciprocate India's requests on tackling terrorism.

"The newly elected democratic government in Myanmar is reaching out to us (India). There are some positive steps. May be next year or two, we will be sure in which direction we are moving. I am sure something positive will be there," Sachdev said.

Asked whether he expected the new Myanmar government to show similar security cooperation like Bangladesh to flush out Indian militants from its soil, he said: "Every nation works for its own national interest. I am sure Myanmar will now show positive signals to India. How fast that will be, we cannot say. And that all depends how both the countries work."

On the security situation in the north-eastern states, Sachdev said: "Normalcy is seen everywhere, except in a few areas in Nagaland and Manipur. Abrogation of ceasefire by the NSCN-K is not worrisome. We will tackle it and I should say the overall situation is under control."

Assam Rifles has 46 battalions, 15 of which are deployed along the India-Myanmar border. The porous border is used by Indian insurgents to slip in and out of the country.

Four states of the northeast - Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km) - share the border with Myanmar.

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