GUWAHATI, March 5 � Though the police and security forces, maintaining close coordination, have managed to eliminate or arrest a number of senior cadres of the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) in recent times, the outfit has been able to continue with its activities in Chirang, Sonitpur and Udalguri districts because of the network of informers that it has in the forest villages.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the NDFB(S) is the most active militant outfit in lower and northern Assam and the recent killing of an additional superintendent of police in Sonitpur gave the outfit a new lease of life. However, sources said that the killing was not a planned one and the militants managed to get the police officer by chance when he was leading an operation. Apart from that incident, the killing of Hindi-speaking persons in Gossaigaon when the militants attacked a bus, also was a morale booster for the militant group.
Sources revealed that the NDFB(S) might try to target police and security forces, but the militants normally avoid a gunbattle with the forces and they do so when they are cornered. The disturbing trend is that the militants managed to develop a network of informers in some villages where they have dominance and on a number of occasions, they got prior information about the movement of the forces. However, it is believed that the villagers are acting as informers not because they support the militants but out of fear.
Security sources revealed that the NDFB(S) might have some bases in Bhutan by taking advantage of the porous international border. However, the militants are not having permanent camps in the neighbouring country as was the case before. In fact, according to reports available with the security agencies, hardcore militant B Bidai often crosses over to Bhutan and come down for operations. Of late, the coordination between the forces engaged in counter insurgency operations and the SSB deployed to guard the international border with Bhutan has also improved and this will definitely help in checking the international movement of the militants.
There have also been reports of movement of militants inside the Manas National Park. On several occasions, the forces launched operations inside the National Park on specific inputs by taking permission from the Forest Department. But the forces cannot operate full time inside a National Park.