North East Ultras on India-Myanmar talks agenda; Nine militant outfits of Assam to lay down arms; Centre extends ceasefire with DHD-J and NDFB-P; Explosives recovered in Lumding, Assam; One killed in militant attack in Speaker’s house in Manipur
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  • (January 16-22, 2012)
    According to reports, a joint strategy to deal with Northeast insurgent groups, checking of drug smuggling, arms and ammunition will be high on the agenda during the Home Secretary-level talks between India and Myanmar to be held on January 19 in Myanmarese capital of Naypyitaw. Home Secretary RK Singh will travel to Naypyitaw to hold annual bilateral talks with his counterpart where he will impress upon the neighbouring country to take action against the Northeast-based insurgent groups having bases across the border. India and Myanmar are expected to discuss how to check cross-border crimes, especially smuggling of drugs, arms and ammunition and may formulate a joint strategy to deal with the menace. 1

    In another development, according to reports, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to arrive in Guwahati on January 24 to oversee surrender of weapons by nine militant outfits of the State. Official sources have confirmed that the Home Minister would pay a daylong visit to the State ahead of the Republic Day celebrations. He has agreed to be the chief guest of the function organised by the State Government. The nine militant groups, which are laying down arms, include four Adivasi militant groups like Adivasi Cobra Militants of Assam, Birsa Commando Force, Santhal Tiger Force, Adivasi People’s Army and Adivasi National Liberation Army, besides Hmar Peoples Convention, Kuki Liberation Army, Kuki Revolutionary Army and United Kuki Defence Army. 2

    Reports noted that the Centre announced extension of the ceasefire pacts with Dima Halam Daogah (DHD)-J faction and National Democratic Front of Boroland (Progressive) (NDFB-P). Official sources said it has been mutually agreed with the (DHD) group in North Cachar Hills district of Assam to further extend suspension of operations (SoO) for a period of six months till June 30. An agreement of Suspension of Operations (SoO) between the security forces and DHD has been in operation since January 1, 2003 and has been extended. Agreed ground rules have been revised making them stricter. 3
    According to reports, security has been beefed up by the Northeast Frontier Railway in parts of Assam, following the discovery of a sizeable quantity of explosive materials at Lumding station and also because of threat perceptions in the run-up to the Republic Day. It is suspected that the consignment could have been brought to Lumding for transshipment to some other place. According to sources in the NFR at Maligaon, no arrests have been made till the time of filing this report. Soon after the discovery, the NFR sounded the alarm and raised the level of security in all the major stations across the State. 4

    In other developments, according to reports, intensifying their attacks ahead of the Assembly polls, unidentified militants exploded a bomb near the house of Manipur Assembly Speaker I Hemochandra Singh in Imphal West district killing one person and leaving at least three wounded. The militants, who have been targeting Congress leaders and workers in the State going to polls on January 28, hurled the bomb outside the Singemei house of the Speaker who is also a Congress candidate for the elections. 5