GUWAHATI, March 7 - Though militancy is on the wane in Assam, no one is ready to take any chances ahead of the State Assembly elections and at least 630 companies of Central paramilitary forces will be engaged in poll duties in addition to the forces already engaged for counter-insurgency operations.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that around 400 companies of forces would reach Assam before the polls, while, 230 companies engaged in counter-insurgency operations would be released for poll duties. The deployment of the forces would be made according to the vulnerability of the areas and polling stations.
The Election Commission (EC) has decided that this time, every polling station would be guarded by at least half a section of central force personnel in addition to Assam Police personnel. Forces would also be engaged in patrolling the vulnerable areas.
On the possibility of attacks from the militants in the run-up to the elections, security sources said that the militants are not in a position to create major problem during the polls as most of them are on the run and are busy in their own survival. However, after the lists of candidates of different political parties are announced, there is possibility of the ultras demanding money from the candidates. According to information available with the security agencies, a few candidates of the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF) received calls from the militants belonging to the NDFB(S) demanding money. However, no one paid money to the militants. After the full lists of candidates are announced, there is apprehension that the other outfits including the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) may jump into the fray to try and extort money.
Sources said that the NDFB(S) is now not in a position to create much trouble during the polls. A few senior leaders of the outfit managed to escape to Bhutan following sustained operations and in that country also, they are on the run as the Bhutan Army has launched an operation against them. The other militants, who are still in Assam, are lying low and they are more concerned about protecting themselves and it is unlikely that they would come out of their hiding places to confront the security forces. More than a hundred cadres of the NDFB(S) are in the camps in Myanmar but they are not in a position to come down to Assam.