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Forces on high alert for I-Day

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 7 � The police and security forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations have been put on high alert all over the state apprehending attacks by the militants belonging to the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) in the run-up to the Independence Day celebrations.

Highly placed police sources told The Assam Tribune that in recent days, the security forces managed to intercept some disturbing messages, which indicated the plans of the militants to create disturbances in the next few days. Sources said that though the messages intercepted by the security forces did not indicate any plan to trigger off explosions in public places, such a possibility cannot be ruled out as the militants might plant explosives in any place out of desperation.

Sources revealed that the ULFA cadres have been given specific instructions to launch attacks in the run-up to the Independence Day celebrations and according to intelligence inputs, the ULFA cadres were asked to target security forces, oil installations, Central Government organisations and Railways. The Railways have been advised to suspend night running of trains during the Independence Day, while, adequate care would have to be taken in movement of wagons carrying petroleum products as any attack in such a train can have disastrous consequences. Though it is not possible to keep close watch on the oil pipelines all over the state, steps have been taken to keep watch on the pipelines in the areas considered vulnerable.

According to information available with the security forces, dreaded militant Dtishti Rajkhowa along with Monoj Rabha is trying to strengthen the 109 battalion of the ULFA, which is active in Goalpara district. Sources said that the 28 battalion of the outfit might try to target oil installations and according to information available, a few members of the unit have come down from Myanmar to Arunachal Pradesh.

Sources said that the NDFB has bases all along the north bank of the river Brahmaputra, but the districts of Sonitpur and Udalguri are considered most vulnerable to attacks by the militants of the outfit. Sources said that the NDFB has strong bases in the jungles bordering Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh.

Police sources admitted that the recent attacks on CRPF and SSB personnel must have given a boost to the morale of the militants. However, at the same time, sources said that the militants succeeded in the attacks only because of the carelessness of the security forces. Sources pointed out that though there were specific inputs about movement of ULFA militants in Goalpara district, the CPRF personnel did not take adequate precautions while moving out, which gave the militants the chance to ambush the CRPF party. On the other hand, the SSB personnel, despite being informed about movement of NDFB militants, did not take adequate precautions.

Commenting on the recent success of the forces in different parts of the state, sources said that close coordination and sharing of information among the police , security forces and intelligence agencies led to recovery of explosives and arrests of militants. The awareness among the common people also led to recovery of a number of explosives, sources added.

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