After the 6th border meeting in Thimphu on September 12, India and Bhutan have agreed to scale up efforts to secure their borders. India and Bhutan share a 669-km-long border, manned by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) from the Indian side and by the Royal Bhutanese Army on the Bhutan side. Most of the insurgent camps are located along the Bhutan-Assam border, which comprises of 267 km of the Indo-Bhutan border.
The border meeting assumes significance against the backdrop of reports suggesting that insurgents operating in India’s North-Eastern states such as United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFA) and Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) have increased co-operation with the Bhutan Tiger Force, the Bhutan Maoist Party and the Communist Party of Bhutan. At the same time, there is a fear in the Bhutanese establishment that the Communist Party of Bhutan, with active co-operation from North Eastern insurgent groups, might acquire advanced weapons and attempt to topple the newly elected democratic government headed by Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley. This was emphasized by Home Secretary Penden Wangchuck who headed the Bhutanese delegation for the border talks. Wangchuk was reported by state-run newspaper Kuensel as saying that "The insurgents are linked to Maoists and militants of eastern Nepal and they can pose a threat to security”.
The Indian side headed by Secretary (border management) Vinay Kumar emphasized during the meeting that since the new Bangladesh government headed by Sheikh Hasina had increased the crack down on North-Eastern insurgent groups, these groups have set up bases in Bhutan. This was confirmed by the 48-page ‘restricted’ Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) report on the North-East states in September 2009. Reports note that the emergence of a “friendly” regime in Bangladesh has resulted in nervousness among the Indian insurgent groups operating from that country and “tentative” reports suggest movement of insurgent infrastructure towards Myanmar and Bhutan where the reach of the Government along the border areas is limited.