IS there an emerging link between the Maoists and insurgent outfits in the Northeast? It would seem so from two unrelated events that occurred last year. The Calcutta police nabbed a key Maoist leader known as Kanchan who has shared information on procuring arms through several northeastern outfits.
In fact, India’s external intelligence agency RAW had another success last year when it helped the National Investigation Agency nab R.K. Meghen, the chairman of the Manipur-based United National Liberation Front (UNLF). During his interrogation, Meghen revealed that one of his cadres, Major Yoiheba, “had contacted Indian Maoist leaders through front organisations in Nepal”.
For an insurgency that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as the “gravest security threat to India”, this is a significant revelation. Reports suggest that Maoists also established a link with the NSCN(IM) but couldn’t arrive at a deal. It seems they were also in touch with Anthony Shimray through ULFA’s top honcho, Paresh Baruah.
Meghen, meanwhile, has also told his interrogators that he met up with Baruah in China in September 2009. The latter told him that the ULFA would not hold peace talks with the government of India. He also confessed that the UNLF had earlier procured arms from China, Thailand and Bangladesh.
Meghen has also told his interrogators that the “UNLF has links with Maoists but he has not met any Maoist leaders personally”. However, UNLF general secretary N. Thabal did stay in Nepal for over a year to “study the strategy and ideology of the (Nepali) Maoists and their rise to power in 2008”.