The fortnight long
Indian army attack, starting from December 14th, on Ulfa (United Liberation
Front of Assam), NDFB National Democratic Front of Bodoland), KLO’s (Kamatapur
Liberation Organisation) military camps in Bhutan had been schemed years before
by the Government of India(GOI). As soon as the Bhutan government succumbed to
the dictates of the Indian government, India has lost no time in launching its
vicious attack on the thirty odd camps of nationality guerrillas.
Every one knows that
ULFA had been running military camps since the 1990’s and NDFB from much before.
They had an understanding with Bhutan to continue such camps. Successive Indian
governments had been putting pressure on Bhutan and negotiations were going on
between these groups and Bhutan since some time.
Due to Indian
government pressure on Bhutan the latter colluded with India, and gave consent
for the flush out scheme without giving adequate preparations for the vacation
of guerrilla camps and before the conclusion of the talks.
dragging the NSCN(IM) into " peace talks", the GOI made best efforts to lure
ULFA and NDFB to follow suit. After failing in persuading them to join the "
main stream"- an euphemism for surrender- the GOI used all means to pressurise
the Thimpu government to allow the Indian army to attack the guerrilla camps.
In the aftermath of
US frenzy of the "war on terrorism" is used by many third world countries to
pursue their own agenda of suppression of people’s wars and national liberation
struggles. The US is actively collaborating in this venture.
The US declared the
CPN(Maoist) as a ‘terrorist’ organisation. It has granted millions of dollars
and gave logistic support to suppress the Maoists there. In the name of curbing
the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines, the US pressed its troops and experts
into Philippines to lend clandestine support to the Philippines army in its
suppression campaign of the CPP and the Moro nationalities. The US government
declared Jose Maria Sison, founder Chairman of CPP, as a "terrorist". His
movements were restricted and his bank accounts were frozen.
At home, after
September 11th, there has been a leap in Indo-US relations. The US has accepted
India’s position as a regional boss in South Asian affairs. Just short of
a military pact, the Indo-US military nexus is becoming closer and stronger. The
US is not only meddling in South Asian affairs, it is actively co-operating with
the Indian ruling classes. The US is fully supporting the GOI’s suppression
campaign of Kashmir. Earlier the US had aided the Indian government in bringing
the NSCN(IM) come around to peace talks. The US has a role in putting pressure
on Bhutan to allow the Indian army to " clear the military camps".
It was totally an
It was totally
planned by the Indian Army. Bhutan neither has the wherewithal nor has that
training to fight the Ulfa and NDFB. Its total army itself is 5000. Fighting the
3000 odd guerillas of Ulfa, NDFB, and KLO, who are well trained, with battle
experience and well equipped with superior weaponry, was unthinkable. Bhutan
army’s last battle was in 1885. The Indian government can not dupe any by saying
that it was the RBA’s operation only.
The Indian media
knows well that it is entirely an Indian operation, but the Indian government
through Bhutan effectively blockaded the media to enter the operational area to
prevent it from getting any contrary evidence. Despite this, the media came out
confirming the Indian Army’s participation. The Hindustan Times writes: "Though
both Thimpu and New Delhi claimed that the operation was being conducted by the
RBA (Royal Bhutan Army), there are indications that it could be a joint
operation ….. The Indian Army did not confirm its deployment, but intelligence
sources said a joint operation was underway". In a way it was ‘joint’
operations, because the RBA personnel were used as shields before the Indian
army entered. That was why, according to RBA’s official count, there were more
than hundred Bhutan army’s casualties in the operations. The Indian Army
reported only a single casuality.
The fact is that
around 15,000 Indian army personnel led the attack on the thirty odd camps of
ULFA, NDFB, and KLO. Apart from this, an entire division of the 11 battalions
had been deployed along the borders of Bengal and Assam. Hundreds of army’s
trucks and tens of helicopters were pressed into the operation.
False logic from
Bhutan gave totally
false reasons for operation flush out of the militants. It was with full
knowledge of the Bhutan govt. from that the militants entered Bhutan territory
and had clear permission of them. Several times they had bilateral and
multi-lateral talks with Ulfa. In fact there was an agreement in 2001, as per
this, Ulfa vacated some camps. The Bhutan spokesperson said that Bhutan had to
take this action since the militants were a threat to their economy. The fact is
that the militants never interfered in the internal affairs of Bhutan. The
reality is that the presence of militants greatly benefited Bhutan’s economy.
That was why the jailed Ulfa’s vice Chairman, Pradeep Gogoi, told the media that
"Bhutan betrayed the Ulfa". It is Bhutan that has betrayed, but the Ulfa’s call,
asking Bhutanese to quit Assam, is inappropriate.
Violation of Bhutan’s
This is not the first
time that India has violated the sovereign rights of neighbouring counties. With
the support of one or the other powerful imperialist power, India wants to be
regional boss in South Asia. With its relatively big economy and military might
and the blessings of the imperialist powers, India is ambitious about its
expansionist designs. It attacked China in 1962 and cried foul. It sent its
armies into East Pakistan in 1971. It occupied Sikkim. It is continuing unequal
treaties with Nepal. It played a role in killing the Nepal King Birendra, aiding
the present Gyanedra. It helped the LTTE with the aim of weakening the
Now, violating all
International norms, it entered Bhutan’s soil and did a big military campaign.
It coerced Bhutan to consent under various threats. The Indian government does
not have the courage to say that Bhutan has asked us to do the operations. The
Indian government clearly lied to the Indian people by not placing the truth
behind the present operation. Shamelessly, the India government, in the
January SAARC meeting, praised the Bhutan’s surrender as a model one. Bhutan has
to pay a big price for this. So far it restrained India’s military entry,
despite being a small country. But now it has compromised its sovereignty. India
will not stop with this favour.
When Ulfa asked for
the help of China for entry of the guerillas who were under the army’s
persecution, China blatantly rejected the plea of Aravind Rajhkowa, chairman of
Ulfa. Now that China has transformed into a capitalist country no revolutionary
can expect any help from it. It is no more Mao’s China when Mao declared that
every revolutionary has a right to utilise China’s space and armory in a true
spirit of internationalism.
In an interview to an
Assam periodical, Paresh Barua, the Commander-in-Chief of Ulfa, said that the
operations caused a set back. It was a set back in the sense that they lost a
number of guerrillas, and some were captured while a few surrendered. Also they
lost military bases, which was a serious loss to them. But considering the
magnitude of the operation, and the odds the guerillas had to face in the
onslaught with the Indian army surrounding them from all sides, still the
majority of cadre of Ulfa and NDFB could survive and escape, though there were
serious losses to the KLO. In this encirclement and suppression campaign, around
150 were killed, more than 500 were captured, including 74 Women and children.
It is true that important leaders too were captured. The Indian army bragged
about victory. It claimed that the "militants backbone was broken". The Indian
Army is showing many of the captured guerillas as surrendered ones. The truth is
that the majority of the guerrillas escaped the dragnet of the Indian army,
despite peak winter and want of rations, the guerrillas are on the process of
shifting the bases to other areas.
The ‘Operation all
clear’ was widely opposed by the people of Assam. Even those who did not
subscribe to the demand of Swadin Asom too, condemned the gruesome killing of
guerrillas. When the Ulfa, NDFB, and KLO gave a bandh call for Assam and parts
of Bengal, condemning the army operations and for the handing over of dead
bodies of guerrillas, there was wide spread support. The Indian army spread the
rumour, to demoralise the movement, that the senior leader of Ulfa, Bhimakant
Buragohain, was killed. The Indian government did not expect that there would be
such a wide spread condemnation against the military operation. People demanded
for a political resolution of the conflict rather than a military solution by
the Indian army. Ulfa reiterated the demand of talks on the demand of
sovereignty of Assam in a neutral and third country.
The Indian government, typical to its character, denied the demand and asked for
the total surrender and declared "amnesty" for the surrender. The Ulfa
immediately rejected the amnesty offer and vowed to continue the struggle. To an
interview to Asomiya Khabar, Paresh Barua said that it faced similar set backs
earlier and it could overcome such difficulties with the support of people of
As long as the
aspirations of various nationalities are not fulfilled, the struggles can not be
suppressed by brute force. There would be ups and downs, troubles and
tribulations. By being resolute and tenaciously sticking to the cause, problems
could be overcome. Ulfa and NDFB had earlier passed through difficult times.
They have seen Operation Bajrang. They vacated their camps on a large scale in a
very short time. They had to vacate their Kachin bases in Burma as the Indian
government befriended the Kachins. They have seen bad times in Bangladesh too
when Sheik Hasina, who is pro-India, came to power and captured Ulfa’s then
secretary, Anoop Chetia. The taming of the NSCN(IM) is also another disadvantage
to the north east guerillas.
The intensity with
which globalisation and war on nations have been going on will bound to sharpen
the contradiction between imperialism and nations and the world people. Even the
facade of sovereign right of nations is being thrown away to the dustbins in the
onslaught of globalisation. The road map drawn by the US imperialists is blown
to smithereens. In India all gimmicks on the "peace plans" to solve the Kashmir
problem became futile. The present betrayal by the Naga leadership will soon be
rejected by the freedom loving people and cadre of the Naga nation, who, once
again have no other go except to continue the legacy of fighting.
nationalities of north-east will definitely overcome the difficulties and soon