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2 militant groups active in NC Hills

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, June 9 � Though the overall law and order situation in North Cachar Hills improved considerably after two major active militant groups � DHD and DHD (J) signed ceasefire agreements to find solution of their problems through talks. However, of late, two other militant groups increased their activities, which has became a cause of concern. Meanwhile, efforts are on to strengthen vigil along the NC Hills � Nagaland border to prevent free movement of militants.

Police sources told The Assam Tribune that most members of both factions of the DHD are staying in the designated camps and there have been no reports of clashes between them. But the area of concern now is that the outfits like the Hmar People�s Democratic Convention (HPDC) and the Kuki National Front (KNF) have become active in recent times and the outfits are believed to be involved in three blasts in the hill district within the last one month. Sources said that the two outfits have joined hands to form the Hills Tiger Force with the objective of opposing the renaming of the district as Dima Hasao. The Hills Tiger Force has already sent letters to the Government offices opposing the renaming of the district and the possibility of the outfits indulging in more acts of violence in the days to come cannot be ruled out.

Sources said that the HPDC was formed with the help of the NSCN (I-M) and now the cadre strength of the outfit would be around a hundred. The members of the outfit do not stay in any camp, but they mostly stay in the villages inhabited by the Hmar people. The total Hmar population in the district would be around 10 per cent of the total population. On the other hand, the KNF�s strength in the Hill district would not be more than 40, said the sources. However, if the two outfits join hands to launch coordinated operations, the situation in NC Hills may deteriorate. The Police and security forces are keeping a close watch on the situation.

On the activities of the NSCN (I-M), sources said that the members of the outfit are still making efforts to extort money from the hill district in violation of the ground rules of the ceasefire agreement. Sources, however, said that with the district council squeezed of funds, the NSCN members have not been able to collect large sums of money in recent times.

Meanwhile, efforts are on to improve vigil along the NC Hills-Nagaland border and the Government of Assam recently sanctioned creation of three more border outposts of the Assam police.

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