Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent and photojournalist based in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.

Guwahati, August 28 : Seven NSCN(Khaplang) militants, including a female cadre were killed in a gun fight with security forces in Nagaland on Friday. Security forces injured three others, officials said.

A defence spokesman said the incident, along the Indo-Myanmar took place near Pangsha town, after the militants crossed the border from Myanmar.

One of the security personnel was injured in the firing from the militants.

Militants Killed Near Myanmar

“A patrol of Security Forces was carrying out routine domination of the border area [near] Pangsha town when they saw one motorcycle, one Gypsy and one Bolero vehicle approaching along the road. Just as the Security Force patrol asked the motorcycle to halt for checking, there was intense firing from the Gypsy and Bolero vehicles which were following behind. The Security Forces retaliated with equal fire power and in the ensuing fire fight seven cadres of NSCN(K) were neutralised, and three Over Ground Workers (OGWs) were injured,” the defence spokesman said.

“The Security Forces displayed a very higher order of restraint and fire discipline to ensure that the OGWs did not suffer fatal injuries during the fire fight,” the defence official said.

The official said security forces recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition, without being specific.

“The cadres who have been neutralised were from the NSCN(K) camp located at Ponyu village inside Myanmar and belong to the group headed by SS Lt Gen Niki Sumi. There have been regular inputs of movement of NSCN(K) cadres from camps located inside Myanmar to the border villages of India for collection of extortion money (sent from Dimapur, Kohima etc), illegal taxation from villagers, purchase of rations and other daily necessities,” the defence official said.

Free Movement Across Indo-Myanmar Border

Militants exploit the Free Movement agreement between India and Myanmar to cross into India and carry out their antisocial activities.

Security officials say ineffective border administration is leaving loopholes for the militant groups to exploit for their own nefarious purposes. Cadres of militant groups such as NSCN(K), ULFA(I), NDFB(S) have almost unhindered movement across the Indo-Myanmar border.

India’s Defence ministry reported that 61 terror camps still operate inside Myanmar, along the 1620 km long India-Myanmar border. Military estimates say there are 30 to 40 militants in each camp.

Two months ago, Indian military carried out a successful surgical operation inside Myanmar’s border. Almost immediately, Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) and other groups immediately regrouped and planned attacks.

Although sources at the time said security along the India-Myanmar border was stepped up, security is obviously still lax enough that NSCN(K) can cross the border and operate inside India.