Highlights

  • 'Myanmar border situation concerning'
  • Govt forces fighting ethnic groups
  • 416 soldiers infiltrated, sent back

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Indo-Myanmar border situation concerning, 416 soldiers infiltrated: Army chief

General Pande said that as many as 416 Myanmarese soldiers crossed over to India. He added that India is "closely watching" the unfolding developments.

Indo-Myanmar border situation concerning, 416 soldiers infiltrated: Army chief

Around 416 Myanmarese soldiers crossed over to India following the situation arising out of the fighting between Myanmar's armed ethnic groups and government forces, and the Indian military is "closely watching" the unfolding developments, Army chief General Manoj Pande said on Thursday.

The hostilities between the two sides saw a rapid spike since November last year in several key towns and regions near the border with India, fuelling concerns in New Delhi over the possible ramifications for the security of Manipur and Mizoram.

At a press conference ahead of the Army Day, General Pande described the situation near the Indo-Myanmar border as "concerning" and said some of the insurgent groups are feeling the pressure in the frontier region of that country and attempting to enter Manipur.

"The situation across the Indo-Myanmar border is something that we are closely watching," he said.

Officials said all 416 Myanmarese military personnel have been repatriated.

The anti-junta groups have reportedly taken control of several key towns and military bases near Myanmar's border with India and the volatile situation has forced scores of Myanmarese citizens to take refuge in Mizoram.

"That (the situation along the Indo-Myanmar border) has been of concern to us. You are aware of the activities of the Myanmar Army and the ethnic armed organisations and PDF (People's Defence Forces) in the past couple of months," General Pande said.

The Army chief said the situation in Myanmar's border areas has forced 416 Myanmarese Army personnel to cross over to India, besides some civilians from that country taking shelter in the northeastern states of Mizoram and Manipur.

"The situation across the Indo-Myanmar border is of concern as we also have some of the insurgent groups who are feeling the pressure and are now attempting to come to our side of the border in the state of Manipur," General Pande said.

"That, combined with the situation in Manipur, is something we are keeping a close watch on," he added.

On the situation in ethnic violence-hit Manipur, General Pande said the deployment of Army troops is aimed at helping the civil administration.

Also watch: Manipur violence: women, kids flee after fresh firing, bombings

"I would say they (the troops) have exhibited a lot of restraint," he said.

The Army chief also said 30 per cent of the weapons looted from security forces in the state have been recovered.

Efforts are underway to recover the remaining weapons, he added.

The Chief of Army Staff said India is also considering strengthening the fencing along the border with Myanmar.

"We have strengthened our posture, deployment on the Indo-Myanmar border. We have close to 20 Assam Rifles battalions which are deployed there," he said.

Myanmar has been witnessing widespread protests demanding restoration of democracy since the military seized power in a coup in February 2021.

The Myanmarese military has been using airstrikes targeting its opponents and those carrying out an armed struggle against the ruling regime.

Myanmar is one of India's strategic neighbours and it shares a 1,640-kilometre border with a number of northeastern states, including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur. Last month, India called for cessation of fighting between Myanmar's military and the anti-junta groups near the Indo-Myanmar border.


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