GUWAHATI, Sept 2 � Concerned over the availability of illegal weapons in Assam particularly in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) area, the Centre has asked the State Government to launch a full scale operation to seize them and to take action against those possessing such weapons.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that according to information available, such illegal weapons were used in a number of cases of violence in the recent ethnic clashes in the BTAD area and the MHA asked the State Government to take strict action in this regard. The MHA has also warned the ex-BLT men that strong action would be taken if anyone among them is found to be involved in acts of violence.
Sources said that the available inputs indicated that ex BLT men were involved in a number of instances of violence in recent times. Though the Ranjan Daimary faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) did not issue any instruction to its cadres to indulge in violence, some of the lower level cadres were involved in clashes, sources said.
It may be mentioned here that according to an assessment of the security forces, at least 250 to 300 illegal weapons including AK series rifles and small arms are available in the BTAD area as during the disbanding of the BLT in 2003, all the cadres did not deposit all their weapons and some weapons are still being brought to the area.
Meanwhile, MHA sources said that there is need for apprehending the persons acting from behind the scene to instigate people during the recent clashes and hoped that the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would be able to find out how the clashes started and who was responsible. Sources said that though only seven cases were handed over to the CBI, it would be enough for the central agency to find out the reasons for the clashes.
On the large scale violence during the Assam bandh call by the AAMSU on August 28, sources said that all the culprits have been identified and strict action would be taken against all those involved.
On the availability of forces, MHA sources said that the additional forces sent to Assam following the outbreak of trouble would not be withdrawn at least till the situation improves. Sources said that as the entire State is declared as Disturbed area and Army is engaged in the counter-insurgency operations, the State Government can always requisition the services of the Army whenever required.