JORHAT, Oct 20 - Maoists are planning to make fresh recruitments, especially targetting the age group of 12-year-olds and above as they are running short of manpower in Assam, according to sources in the security forces.
The Maoists have chosen the festival season to scout for youths from tea garden areas and ethnic groups in the tea belt for recruiting them into the insurgent fold, the sources said.
They are also planning to recruit youths through their allies by sending details through WhatsApp about the youths� education, family background and location, the sources added.
Though the recruitment drive started a year back, the process has now been speeded up due to shortage of manpower in the Maoist camps as two batches after their 18-month training in Jharkhand and Odisha are ready to arrive by January next, they said.
In the belt along the Brahmaputra, short documentary films are loaded in 1GB/2GB mobile handsets so that the impressionable boys of age 12 to 13 years are influenced and brainwashed to join the Naxalite movement, said the sources.
The seven Upper Assam districts of Dhemaji, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar and Golaghat have borders with neighbouring hill States, while the belt along the river is a breeding ground for Naxal activities, the sources mentioned.
In view of the Maoists using the latest technology for their communication, the security forces want police special branches at the Centre and the State technically equipped to counter them.
The recent arrest of dreaded Maoist Aditya Borah at Dergaon as he was coming from Merapani on the Assam-Nagaland border, however, was a big setback for the Naxal movement here, they said. � PTI