Monday, September 7, 2009

China training, arming militants against India

Nitin Gokhale

China denies incursions by its troops into Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control. But NDTV has exclusive information that China is actively training and arming insurgent groups in Manipur and Nagaland. On video, an alleged Manipur militant is interrogated. Intelligence officials say he confirms that China is training Manipuri militants.

Sources say at least 400 cadre of a Manipuri insurgent group, the People's Liberation Army (PLA), have been undergoing arms training in China's Yunnan province for the last year. Ronie, alias Robindro, a self-styled major of the Manipur PLA, brags "16 platoon went to China recently, some of them have come back."

The insurgents travel to Yunnan via Myanmar. Arms for these militants also come via this route. And China's role doesn't stop at training militants. Issac Chisi Swu, chairman of the NSCN, a Naga insurgent group, which is still upholding a ceasefire with India, has been hosted in Beijing and Kunming this May. His main officer in charge of acquiring weapons has also been twice to China.

According to intelligence operatives, a Chinese company supplies machine guns and hi-tech communication equipment to both Naga and Manipuri militants. Anti-aircraft guns have also been acquired from China by these groups, which are currently in Myanmar.

The arrested Manipuri militant has told interrogators that the PLA and other Manipuri groups are being armed and trained by Chinese experts in Myanmar. This is apparently in preparation for a major showdown with Indian security forces next year.


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