GUWAHATI, June 18 � Though a number of militant outfits of Assam laid down arms to come forward to solve their problems through dialogues, emergence of new militant outfits has become a matter of concern for the State.
Highly placed police sources said that the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was responsible for the emergence of Adivashi People's Army (APA), which was responsible for the planting of an improvised explosive device (IED) on the Kanchanjhungha Express yesterday. A major disaster was averted following the recovery of the IED in the Kamakhya railway station during a routine checking.
Sources said that APA was formed with the help of ULFA and senior leaders of the 709 battalion of the outfit helped the outfit with weapons and training. The APA has a number of sophisticated weapons and the several members of the outfit received training from the ULFA in handling of explosives. However, according to assessment of the police, the strength of the outfit should not be more than 50.
Sources revealed that so far, the activities of the Adivashi outfit was limited to extortions and the planting of the bomb yesterday, the first such act by them, was aimed to make its presence felt. After the recovery of the IED, the outfit claimed the responsibility for the incident.
The members of the outfit have also been providing help to the anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) in kidnappings. Police said that another militant outfit, Santhal Tiger Force (STF), has also emerged in recent times and the strength of the outfit is estimated to be around 50 boys. Interestingly, the police and security forces are still not aware of the demands of the outfits.
Though the APA and STF are still in nascent stage, police sources admitted that there is need for keeping a close watch on the activities of the outfits as by planting a powerful IED on a passenger train, the APA has already proved that the outfit can indulge in major acts of violence.