Assam Rifles boosts vigil along India-Myanmar border


The para-military Assam Rifles stepped up security on the India-Myanmar border along eastern Mizoram to stop drugs and arms smuggling, an official said on Tuesday.

"We have alerted our troops deployed along the (510 km long) India-Myanmar border with Mizoram. Vigil along the porous border was further intensified after reports of arms and drugs smuggling," an Assam Rifles official said.

He said that acting on a tip-off the Assam Rifles troopers seized five AK-56 rifles, some loaded magazines and ammunition between Farkawn and Vaphai villages in Mizoram adjoining Myanmar on Sunday.

"The troopers laid an ambush along Tiau river which divides the two countries. In the early hours of Sunday, two insurgents from Myanmar tried to cross Tiau towards India. When jawans challenged, the terrorists threw their bags containing arms into the river and managed to escape into Myanmar," the official added.

This was a major arms cache captured by the Assam Rifles in Mizoram. These weapons were likely to be traded to Manipur-based insurgent groups.

The Assam Rifles official said that though Mizoram is a peaceful state, the arms and drugs smuggling from Myanmar have become rampant.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh accompanied by his deputy Kiren Rijiju on June 12, held a meeting with the Chief Ministers and senior officers of four northeastern states, which shares borders with Myanmar.

Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km), Nagaland (215 km) and Mizoram (510 km) share the 1,643-km mountainous border.

There is a 16-km-wide free zone (eight km on either side) along the unfenced border.

Mizoram also shares 318 km borders with Bangladesh and the Border Security Force (BSF) is deployed along there.

Nagaland and few other northeastern states obstruct erection of fencing along the India-Myanmar borders referring destabilisation of the relations among the ethnic tribals living on both sides of the boundary.