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How non-violent measures by Indian Army are keeping the Naga rebels at bay

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Indian Army is all set to deal with any violence undertaken by the Myanmar based Naga separatist faction. “This time we will deal with the rebels quite differently,” said a top commander.

Lieutenant General, Bipin Rawat, is the commanding officer of the Indian Army’s Kohima-based 3 Corps, which is responsible for the counter-insurgency operations in Nagaland and other northeastern states. He said confidently, “The faction headed by Myanmarese Naga rebel leader S.S. Khaplang can’t do much because it lacks popular support.”

The people in Nagaland have got used to the idea of peace dividends for the last 17 years and any rebellion is not well received by the common people. Military operations affect the normal lives of people and so Khaplang stands isolated, said Lt. Gen Rawat to IANS.

“Other Naga rebel factions and extremist political groups have no stomach for fresh violence, as they have got used to peace. So, they are determined to keep his fighters out of Nagaland,” Lt. Gen. Rawat said.

Khalpang, on the other hand, claimed that Indian intelligence is using other Naga rebel factions because they have given up the demand for the Naga Independence.

Lt. Gen Rawat said, “The locals are supporting us because Khaplang has violated the ceasefire before by assailing the Indian troops and killing 8 of them in the Mon district. The Indian army restrained the troops and owing to it, there was no backlash from the common people.”

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Myanmar Early Release of Soldiers Involved in Rohingya Massacre Draws Criticism from Rights Activists

The soldiers served less time than two Reuters reporters who were jailed for exposing the massacre

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rohingya massacre, myanmar
Rakhine State, Myanmar. VOA

Myanmar’s early release of seven soldiers who were jailed for killing a group of Rohingya Muslims is drawing criticism from rights activists. Four officers and three enlisted service members were freed last November, Reuters first reported, after being sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in prison with hard labor for killing 10 Rohingya men and boys the year before.

Prisons department head Myint Soe confirmed to reporters Tuesday in Yangon the soldiers were “no longer in custody,” but he declined to provide more information.

The soldiers served less time than two Reuters reporters who were jailed for exposing the massacre. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were jailed last September after being sentenced to seven years on charges linked to their reporting. They served 500 days and then were released after receiving a presidential pardon.

The massacre occurred during a military crackdown in 2017 that forced nearly three-quarters of a million Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

rohingya massacre, myanmar
The massacre occurred during a military crackdown in 2017 that forced nearly three-quarters of a million Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. Wikimedia Commons

United Nations investigators have said the violence warrants the prosecution of top military leaders for “genocide.” The International Criminal Court has launched a preliminary investigation into the killings.

Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director told the VOA Burmese Service the early release of the soldiers reveals that top Myanmar military leaders “don’t really consider the Rohingya to be human, and were never committed to seeing anyone held accountable for their crimes in Rakhine state.”

ALSO READ: Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh Face Serious Water Shortage

Asia Human Rights Commission attorney Min Lwin Oo said in an interview with VOA Burmese the soldiers’ early release “obviously shows that the military does not care about the judicial system.”

The Rohingya are widely viewed in Myanmar as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. The military has justified its 2017 crackdown, which involved mass killings, gang rapes and widespread arson, as a way of eradicating Rohingya insurgents. (VOA)