GUWAHATI, Sept 20 - Though no jehadi group has indulged in any kind of violence in Assam so far, the threat cannot be overlooked as over the years, youths from the State have joined such terrorist outfits. With the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) coming to the closing stage, the possibility of such outfits trying to take advantage of the sentiments of a section of people to recruit youths cannot be overlooked.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that as the jehadi groups are mostly inter-linked by some way or the other, they usually try to take advantage of local situations to their advantage to indoctrinate youths to join their folds. Such things happened in Assam in the past and there is no guarantee that such efforts would not be made in future. The arrest of Hizbul Mujahideen activist Kamaruz Zaman in Kanpur led to the arrests of several others who helped him in the State. The activities of Hizbul Mujahideen in Assam were in nascent stage but the investigations revealed that they were trying to procure weapons from Dimapur. However, it is a fact that they were not able to make much inroad in Assam as of today.
Sources admitted that the Assam Police would have to make a special unit to deal with activities of the jehadi groups like some other States did as the threat cannot be overlooked and the activities of such outfits are not confined to one particular state or country. Moreover, there is very little intelligence inputs about the activities of such groups and to deal with them, the state police forces and the Central agencies would have to work in close coordination. The police presence in the remote and vulnerable areas would also have to be increased immediately to deal with the situation.
Sources pointed out that there have been instances in the past when youths from Assam went for training even in Pakistan and the police and security forces came to know about it only after accidental breakthroughs. A few known jehadi elements from the State are still missing and no one knows their whereabouts. Sources said that after arrests of four agents of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in Assam in late 1990s, the police and security forces came to know that the Harkat ul Mujahideen (HUM) managed to establish bases in the State. More than 40 activists of the HUM were arrested during that time and around 25 of them had gone to Pakistan for training. The head of the Assam unit of the HUM Master Fakruddin is still missing. According to an input, he was killed while fighting the American forces in Afghanistan, but the report could not be confirmed.
Similarly, another youth from Assam, Nurul Ali, had joined terrorist group Harkar Ul Ansar and he was involved in an act of violence in Delhi. But his present whereabouts are not known. It is also suspected that one youth from the State was involved in the blasts in Bodh Gaya in 2013, but the report could not be confirmed. However, security sources said, �the involvement of a youth from the State in the Bodh Gaya blast is almost confirmed with the available inputs. �
Sources revealed that the Jamaat ul Mujaheedin Bangladesh (JMB) managed to establish bases in Assam by taking advantage of the sentiments of a certain section of people following the 2012 ethnic clashes in the BTAD areas and the fact came to light only after an accidental blast in West Bengal. Around 50 persons were arrested and it was found that around 12 persons were trained up in a Madrassa in West Bengal. But luckily for the security agencies, the accidental blast during the training in Burdwan led to the arrests of the JMB activists, sources pointed out and said that if the jehadi elements quietly carry on indoctrinating people without indulging in any violence, it is very difficult to track their activities.