GUWAHATI, Jan 21 � Tough stand by the Government of India resulted in large scale success of the police and security forces in the counter-insurgency operations against the militants belonging to the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB). Majority of the members of the outfit, who were in Assam, are now under the security net. However, G Bidai, the commander in chief of the outfit, who reportedly masterminded the attacks on December 23, in which more than 70 persons were killed, is still at large.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the Ministry is closely monitoring the situation and because of the tough stand of the Centre, all the forces engaged in the operations have become �very pro-active,� which brought the desired results. The MHA gave the forces two months to �finish off� the NDFB(S) after the gruesome killing of innocent civilians and all the forces were directed to submit weekly report of the achievements to the MHA every Monday.
Sources revealed that the total strength of hardcore members of the NDFB (S) was estimated to be around 190 or so and the intensified operations since the killings on December 23 broke the backbone of the outfit. According to records available, as many as 67 hardcore members of the militant outfit have already been arrested, while two were killed. More than 40 linkmen of the outfit have also been arrested. More than 35 weapons, around same number of grenades, more than 1,700 rounds of ammunition, etc., were also recovered.
However, according to inputs available, the militants buried some weapons in safe places while escaping and efforts are on to recover it. Questioning of the arrested ultras may lead to recovery of more weapons, sources pointed out.
A few ultras have escaped to Bhutan by taking advantage of the porous international border and the security forces of the neighbouring country have already launched coordinated operations along with Indian forces to nab them. According to information available, a few senior members of the outfit are trying to escape to Myanmar, where the chairman of the NDFB(S), IK Songbijit is hiding along the general secretary of the ultra group. However, four hardcore members of the outfit were arrested in Nagaland while they were trying to escape from the country.
MHA sources said that around 25 to 30 members of the outfit escaped to Arunachal Pradesh and as under the provisions of the Disturbed Areas Act, the Army can operate up to 20 kilometres inside that state, operations in the area are on.
Sources revealed that there were four commands of the NDFB (S) operating in Assam and the backbone of all the four have been broken and the cadres, who are still in the State, are in total disarray and they do not have any contact with the senior leaders of the outfit.
Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency and Police have been asked by the Government of India to prepare the charge sheets against the arrested militants properly so that they cannot obtain bail easily.