New Delhi: Five soldiers, including a colonel, his wife and their eight-year-old son, were killed in a deadly attack near the Myanmar border in Manipur. This has brought back into focus China’s possible support for the rebels in India’s northeast, and the neighbor may be plotting. Chinese watchers and security officials said on Sunday that a crisis had erupted in the region amid tensions along the border.
This is not the first time that Chinese ties with insurgent groups have come under scrutiny. Questions about Beijing’s involvement have been raised in the past, including in October 2020, when China’s propaganda apparatus warned India against a trade deal with Taiwan, saying Beijing would retaliate by supporting northeast separatists. and stop recognizing Sikkim as part of India.
A senior official said, “There is a possibility of China promoting insurgency in the Northeast. Insurgent organizations in the Northeast, including Manipur, have links with armed groups such as the Arakan Army and the United Wa State Army in Myanmar, from where Chinese weapons are finding their way into the Northeast.
Another official said China has provided safe haven to rebel leaders, including United Liberation Front of Assam commander Paresh Baruah and Phunting Shimrang of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM), located in Yunnan province across the Myanmar border with China. I live in Ruili.
Armed militants ambushed an Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur’s Churachandpur district on Saturday when Colonel Biplab Tripathi, Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles and his rapid response team were returning from Behiang border post and headed towards the battalion headquarters at Khuga. Were were
The Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), a group under which the People’s Liberation Army Manipur operates, jointly with the Manipur Naga People’s Front claimed responsibility for the attack, but said it was aware of the presence of family members in the convoy. was not.
Lt Gen Shoukin Chauhan (retired), who led the Assam Rifles in 2017, said China may have re-established its ties with PLA Manipur and other like-minded groups in the backdrop of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) situation . 18. “It must have been done to create havoc in the Northeast and to intimidate the security forces,” he said.
The attack comes at a time when the Army’s assessment of the security situation in the Northeast had improved significantly, and there is a planned and gradual withdrawal of troops. Former Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda (Retd.), who commanded the Limakhong-headquartered 57 Mountain Division in Manipur, said that China had not intervened earlier but things may change amid tensions on the LAC as the Northeast The rebel groups have Chinese ties.
India and China have tightened their position on the LAC due to increased military activities, infrastructure development, surveillance and maneuvers on both sides of the border. Both sides have been standing on the border line for more than 18 months.
Lt Gen Konsam Himalaya Singh, who retired in 2017 and was the Northeast’s first Army officer, said, “Given the situation at the LAC, China is trying to wage a different form of war in the Northeast to put pressure on India. is likely to.”
Said an official who specializes in security dynamics of the Northeast, “The insurgent groups have access to Chinese-made weapons and some self-styled commanders are living in China. But it is difficult to establish the exact scale of Chinese support to these groups.”
Officials said the latest attack is also an attempt by the militants to re-establish their relevance at a time when violent incidents have subsided. Security forces have launched a massive search operation for the ambushing insurgents.