GUWAHATI, Dec 30 �Though the Maoist rebels are lying low for some time, the threat cannot be overlooked as they are trying to take advantage of the vacuum created by a number of militant outfits of Assam, which have come forward for solving their problems through talks. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Central agencies are keeping a close watch on the situation in Assam and other parts of the region.
Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that militarily, the Maoists are keeping a low profile in the entire country, but according to information available, they are more active in organizing themselves after suffering major setbacks and they are also trying to expand and strengthen their bases. Same is the case in Assam as after suffering major setbacks, the Maoist rebels are keeping a low profile, but the threat perception cannot be overlooked.
Apart from the arrests of key members by the police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the year 2012, the expansion plan of the Maoists in the North East also suffered a major jolt with the killing of senior leader Kishenji alias Koteswar Rao in West Bengal and it is believed that the Maoist leader was killed just after returning from Assam. The snapping of the links between the Maoists and PLA of Manipur following arrests of key members of both the groups by the NIA also affected the expansion plan in the region.
Sources said that the Maoists would definitely try to take advantage of the vacuum created by the fact that majority of the militant groups are now talking with the Government. The Maoists need political space to expand their bases and Assam now provides them with a number of political issues like anti-mega dam agitations, problems of the tea tribes, tribal issues, miseries of the flood and erosion affected people, etc and the Government and the security agencies would have to keep a close watch on the situation to prevent the expansion plan of the Maoist rebels.
Sources pointed out that wherever there are vibrant and active militant groups, the Maoists try to ally with �nationalist forces� and that is how they established their contacts with the PLA of Manipur. The Maoists also managed to establish contacts with the NSCN (I-M) and senior leaders of the Naga outfit even visited Maoist camps in other parts of the country to discuss the possibility of sending trainers to train up Maoist cadres. However, the main reason for the links with the PLA was to procure weapons, sources added.
Sources further revealed that the Maoists have not been able to hold its Central committee meeting for more than a year to plan strategies for expansion in the North East region. There is one person from Assam in the Central committee of the Maoists and the last meeting of the committee was held in February, 2011, sources added.