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Maoists may pose major threat: Gogoi

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, April 16 � Expressing his gratitude to Bangladesh Government for flushing out the rebels operating from the neighbouring country, Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi said that residual elements of anti-talk ULFA, middle-level cadres of NDFB (Ranjan Daimary) and splinter groups like KPLT remain a cause for concern.

In his address at the Conference of the Chief Ministers on Internal Security, Gogoi said that the Maoist movement is at a nascent stage but has the potential to grow into a major threat since links have already been established with affected states like Jharkhand and Odisha and there is a definite Maoist presence in upper Assam districts.

At least 21 Maoist cadres have been arrested so far, several of whom have been trained in other states. Pre-emptive action to thwart the spread of CPI (Maoist) in the State by including Assam within the framework of existing Government of India development and security schemes including Integrated Action Plan (IAP), is the need of the hour.

�There is no room for complacency and force levels need to be maintained for some more time to prevent resurgence of this militancy and to nurture the public mood that is now so visibly in favour of peace and development. Apart from continuing deployment of central forces my State Government would need help in addressing issues that are critical to the achieving of the outcomes that we all desire,� he said.

Inter-state linkage of militants with Arunachal Pradesh, Garo Hills of Meghalaya and parts of Nagaland is a matter of concern. Dimapur in particular is emerging as a centre for illegal arms trade and shelter for criminals and militants. The illegal coal trade originating in bordering areas of neighbouring states transits through Assam and is fast becoming a major source of funding for different militant outfits, Gogoi warned.

�I must acknowledge with a deep sense of gratitude, the changed policy in Bangladesh that denied sanctuary and the continued success of efforts by the army and central police forces and agencies acting in tandem with the state,� Gogoi said.

About the state of affairs along the international border with Bangladesh and Bhutan, Gogoi in a rare departure from the past dwelt at length on the issue. He sought Centre�s permission to recruit local SPOs in border areas under Security Related Expenditure (SRE).

Assam has a 267 km border with Bangladesh and 269 km with Bhutan. In the past both these countries have been used as sanctuaries by militant outfits. While central forces have the primary border guarding responsibility it is important to strengthen the state�s role as a second line of defence. State Government may be allowed to recruit local SPOs in border areas under SRE, he said.

Central government has been funding the Prevention of Infiltration of Foreigners (PIF) Scheme since 1962. State Government has appointed 3153 personnel including 1280 ex-servicemen from time to time. The scheme is extended on a year-to-year basis annually. Keeping the importance of the scheme in detection and deportation of foreigners and providing second line of defence, the scheme should be extended for five years at a time.

Work on border fencing and border roads is nearing completion. However, riverine areas of international border with Bangladesh are still a cause for concern. Since floating Border Outposts (BOP) could not be made operational, alternative technologies like electronic barrier including night vision camera, ATV or Hovercraft need to be explored for riverine patrolling. In this regard the State Government has set up a high level committee to suggest effective measures, he informed.

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Maoists may pose major threat: Gogoi

NEW DELHI, April 16 � Expressing his gratitude to Bangladesh Government for flushing out the rebels operating from the neighbouring country, Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi said that residual elements of anti-talk ULFA, middle-level cadres of NDFB (Ranjan Daimary) and splinter groups like KPLT remain a cause for concern.

In his address at the Conference of the Chief Ministers on Internal Security, Gogoi said that the Maoist movement is at a nascent stage but has the potential to grow into a major threat since links have already been established with affected states like Jharkhand and Odisha and there is a definite Maoist presence in upper Assam districts.

At least 21 Maoist cadres have been arrested so far, several of whom have been trained in other states. Pre-emptive action to thwart the spread of CPI (Maoist) in the State by including Assam within the framework of existing Government of India development and security schemes including Integrated Action Plan (IAP), is the need of the hour.

�There is no room for complacency and force levels need to be maintained for some more time to prevent resurgence of this militancy and to nurture the public mood that is now so visibly in favour of peace and development. Apart from continuing deployment of central forces my State Government would need help in addressing issues that are critical to the achieving of the outcomes that we all desire,� he said.

Inter-state linkage of militants with Arunachal Pradesh, Garo Hills of Meghalaya and parts of Nagaland is a matter of concern. Dimapur in particular is emerging as a centre for illegal arms trade and shelter for criminals and militants. The illegal coal trade originating in bordering areas of neighbouring states transits through Assam and is fast becoming a major source of funding for different militant outfits, Gogoi warned.

�I must acknowledge with a deep sense of gratitude, the changed policy in Bangladesh that denied sanctuary and the continued success of efforts by the army and central police forces and agencies acting in tandem with the state,� Gogoi said.

About the state of affairs along the international border with Bangladesh and Bhutan, Gogoi in a rare departure from the past dwelt at length on the issue. He sought Centre�s permission to recruit local SPOs in border areas under Security Related Expenditure (SRE).

Assam has a 267 km border with Bangladesh and 269 km with Bhutan. In the past both these countries have been used as sanctuaries by militant outfits. While central forces have the primary border guarding responsibility it is important to strengthen the state�s role as a second line of defence. State Government may be allowed to recruit local SPOs in border areas under SRE, he said.

Central government has been funding the Prevention of Infiltration of Foreigners (PIF) Scheme since 1962. State Government has appointed 3153 personnel including 1280 ex-servicemen from time to time. The scheme is extended on a year-to-year basis annually. Keeping the importance of the scheme in detection and deportation of foreigners and providing second line of defence, the scheme should be extended for five years at a time.

Work on border fencing and border roads is nearing completion. However, riverine areas of international border with Bangladesh are still a cause for concern. Since floating Border Outposts (BOP) could not be made operational, alternative technologies like electronic barrier including night vision camera, ATV or Hovercraft need to be explored for riverine patrolling. In this regard the State Government has set up a high level committee to suggest effective measures, he informed.

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