GUWAHATI, March 5 � Altogether five militant outfits are now active in the State and talks with different militant outfits are progressing satisfactorily. During the period from 2001 to February 20 this year, 2,280 persons including 296 security personnel were killed in acts of violence by the militant outfits, while 1,797 militants were killed in counter-insurgency operations.
Replying to a question by Phani Bhushan Choudhury (AGP) in the State Assembly today, the Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain, who was replying on behalf of the Chief Minister, said that efforts are on to bring all the militant groups to the negotiating table for peaceful solution of the problems. He said that the Government is always keen to talk to the militant groups under the provisions of the Constitution of India. He revealed that the Government is also appealing to the hardline faction of the ULFA, headed by Paresh Baruah, to come for talks, while the Centre has already appointed PC Haldar as the interlocutor for talks with the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB.
The Minister said that several rounds of talks have been held with different militant groups including ULFA headed by Arabinda Rajkhowa, both factions of the DHD, KLNLF, etc., in Delhi and Kolkata. He, however, refused to divulge the details of the talks.
Commenting on the active militant groups in the State, Hussain said that the strength of the Paresh Baruah faction of the ULFA is around 225 to 250 members, the NDFB (R ) has around 325 to 350 members, the KPLT has around 60 to 70 members, the Muslim United Liberation Tiger of Assam (MULTA) has 60 members and Harkat-ul Mujaheedin (HUM) has 40 members. The Government has set up 21 designated camps for keeping the members of the militant groups under ceasefire agreement.
The Minister informed the House that at present 99 companies of Central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the State and since 2009, 66 companies have been withdrawn. He said that as many as 5,062 posts are lying vacant in Assam Police and steps have been initiated to fill up the vacant posts in a phased manner. Proposals have also been prepared for opening three new battalions of the Assam Police.