India accuses China of helping Northeast rebels with guns, training

At least four most-wanted insurgent leaders were training in China in mid-October, the report said

Army convoy
Representational photo: iStock

Rebel groups in Myanmar are receiving help from China and in turn assisting the insurgent groups in India’s northeastern region, NDTV reported quoting anonymous Indian officials. It said United Wa State Army, Arakan Army, and other militant outfits of Myanmar are acting as proxies for China. They’re supplying arms and providing hideouts to the rebel groups in Northeast, the report said.

The Indian government has received inputs from multiple security agencies that at least four insurgent leaders, who’re most-wanted in India, were training in China’s Kunming city in mid-October. They also met acting and retired Chinese military officials and middlemen, the report added. Among these were outfits were three ethnic Naga rebel groups who’ve been demanding a separate homeland, according to the report.

Related | Is Naga peace process heading towards a murky end?

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The reports come at a time when India and China are engaged in a bitter standoff in the Himalayan region with both their troops kept on standby for a long haul. Several battalions comprising about 1,000 troops were pressed to the Myanmar border following an ambush on October 21, the report added.

The Chinese foreign minister has, however, denied claims of helping armed groups against India, stating it has always taken “prudent and responsible attitude toward arms exports”. Beijing said it does not interfere in the affairs of other countries.

Related news | Naga peace talks: Centre’s interlocutor rules out separate flag, constitution

The United Wa State Army has also denied allegations that it provides assistance to Indian rebel groups at the behest of China. Its spokesperson Nyi Rang has said that the group has no connection with India’s national security and “we do not harm that country at all.”

Indian officials link the recent rise in violence on this front to the Naga peace talks peace talks hitting a roadblock earlier this year. A huge cache of arms was intercepted by Indian guards in Mizoram in September, in what was the biggest haul of weapons from Northeast in recent times. Officials said the weapons were meant for Indian insurgent groups and were being supplied by the Arakan Army which receives help from China.

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