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India Deploys Additional Army Units Along Myanmar Border As Threat Escalates

© AP Photo / Dar YasinIndian army soldier. (File)
Indian army soldier. (File) - Sputnik International
The Indian government is wary of people – militants and refugees alike - crossing over the border and taking shelter inside the country.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — India has deployed additional Indian Army units in the past few days along its Myanmar border after the threat of militants entering into the Indian side increased.

READ MORE: India's Crackdown on Rohingyas Has Prompted A Reverse Exodus – Reports

"A large number of troops have already been deployed in the sensitive area," a source told Sputnik.

Indian police officials stand next to Rohingya Muslims after they were arrested in two northeastern states, outside a police station in Agartala, India, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 - Sputnik International
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The local administration, sources said, informed the government that there is an increased threat level of militants taking crossing into Indian territory and facilitating refugees' entry into India. The troops will guard the border to prevent such incidents from happening.

Sources told Sputnik that at least two additional Indian Army units are being sent to the Indo-Myanmar border in southern Mizoram's Lawngtlai district following fresh clashes between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army.

Another source told Sputnik that close to 200 people displaced from Myanmar's Chin state have already taken shelter in territory under the control of the ethnic armed group near the border with India.

Large clashes have been underway for the past month between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army in the region, very close to India's northeastern state of Mizoram. The two have been engaged in bloody on-and-off fighting for the past two years.

Last December, the Myanmar military announced a unilateral ceasefire with armed groups in the northeast until April later this year.

However, fresh clashes erupted in January when the Arakan Army attacked four border guard outposts in Buthidaung, seizing more than 40 arms and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Thirteen police personnel and nine others were injured in the attack.

READ MORE: Suu Kyi Touts Business-Friendly Environment at Myanmar Investment Summit

Meanwhile, Arakan Army's Major-General Tun Myat Naing in a video message urged Arakanese living abroad to return to Rakhine state in order to take part in what he said was a turning point in the history of the region. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/aa-chief-vows-set-hq-rakhine-state-soon.html

"I absolutely believe that the Arakanese public and the Arakan Army stand side by side. We have also frequently said that the government military is fighting against the whole Arakanese public," Major-General Tun Myat Naing said on 10 February.

The chief promised they will fight until they achieve their ultimate goal.

"If you are interested in being an Arakan Army soldier, you don't need to travel to Karen state. Just go back to your homes and inquire a bit about the Arakan Army," he said, adding, "The world-famous AK assault rifles, brand new AK firearms are waiting for you. Just come and join, OK?"

The Indian government identified the Rohingyas, who fled from Myanmar's Rakhine state in 2017 to India, as a threat to national security and refused to grant them refugee status.

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In August 2017, the government directed state governments to collect biometric details to identify and deport Rohingyas living in India. The government did not provide the exact number of Rohingyas but it is estimated that at least 40000 Rohingyas crossed over inside India dispersing into different parts of the country.

READ MORE: ‘We Are Taking More Action’: Facebook Bans Pages of Violent Myanmar Insurgents 

In early February this year, Kiren Rijiju, the minister of state for home affairs, stated in the Lok Sabha that the government has directed states to conduct surveys and deport Rohingyas in a "continuous manner."

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