Guwahati, Jan 23 (IANS): Security arrangements across Assam have been intensified to thwart a possible attack by the anti-talk faction of the banned United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) led by Paresh Baruah which has called for a boycott of Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
Newly appointed Director General of Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury said there was a threat perception ahead of the event. "However, we are working on it and have adopted all the necessary precautions to ensure security and safety to all in the run up to Republic Day," said Choudhury.
While one faction of ULFA is conducting peace talks with the central government, the group led by Baruah continues to oppose negotiations with the Indian State.
"ULFA and some other militant outfits have called for a general strike on Jan 26 and appealed for a boycott of Republic Day functions. So, obviously they might attempt to disrupt the celebrations," Choudhury said. The border outposts of Assam Police have been instructed to step up patrolling.
He also admitted to the presence of Maoists in the state but said they were new to Assam and yet to become a worrying factor.
"There are reports of extortion drive by Maoists but it's not a worrying factor. Maoists have just started their operations particularly in some tea growing areas. I hope we will be able to contain the Maoist threats soon," he added. Police apprehended at least 30 youths affiliated to Maoists in three Upper Assam districts last year.
Police in Tinsukia district claimed to have arrested a Maoist on Sunday night. The man has been identified as Bhadrajit Baruah.
In another incident, three ULFA cadres surrendered before the Tinsukia district administration Sunday evening. They were identified as Raju Sonowal, Akonti Sonowal and Dharmendra Moran, police said.