Bodies of three Manipur-based People's Liberation Army (PLA) cadres were discovered dumped in a pit in Myanmar, where northeast India-based militant groups have set up bases.
A senior Indian Army official said that the PLA cadres were killed by Myanmar-based drug cartels in a clash believed to have happened on September 17.
The deceased were identified as Lucky, Sanjit and Ayangba.
"This incident reportedly happened in Momo village in New Kwangkhan Camp (NKC) in Myanmar. A lot of these groups are not able to pay the money to drug cartels in Myanmar despite being successful in smuggling drugs into India via the northeastern region," a senior Army official said.
Funds starved militant groups from area have shifted their base of operations to Myanmar and seen to be resorting to drug trafficking to generate revenue.
Since May 2021, Assam Police and other security agencies have recovered and seized contraband drugs worth over Rs 1,500 crore in Assam alone with most of the drugs entering the region from Myanmar via the Manipur-Nagaland route.
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According to intelligence from Indian Army, there are around 40-50 big and small camps of northeast-based militant groups in Myanmar, and all these groups are engaged in drug trafficking to generate revenue.