GUWAHATI, Sept 11 - The ensuing meeting of the police chiefs of the North East states is likely to deliberate upon consolidating the police and security forces over the improving law and order situation and formulating strategies to deal with new challenges, including the threat from jehadi elements.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that though the overall law and order situation in the region has improved, the police and security forces cannot lower their guards and there is need for coordinated efforts to consolidate the position. The Manipur-based militant outfits are still active, and, as majority of the militant outfits of the region have come into a common platform, they can still create problems in certain areas of the region. Almost all the militant outfits of the region still have strong bases in Myanmar, while, a new militant outfit � People�s Democratic Council of Karbi Anglong � has emerged recently and joined the common platform of militant outfits. Under the circumstances, the police and security forces must maintain coordinated efforts to deal with the situation and prevent militants from gaining ground, sources added.
Sources pointed out that the police forces of the North East would also have to come up with strategies to deal with the new challenges, including thwarting the move of the jehadi elements from establishing bases in the region.
Sources said that the footprints of the Jamaat-ul-Mujaheedin, Bangladesh (JMB) was seen in Assam and there is possibility of the outfit trying to establish strong bases in the region by taking advantage of the fact that the region shares a long international boundary with Bangladesh. Moreover, activities of some radical elements were also noticed in the region.
Sources said that the proposed NEPOL, a coordinated mechanism to improve coordination between the states of the region may also become a reality as discussions are on between the concerned state governments on formation of such a mechanism. The Home Ministry is also seriously considering the proposal, but some details would have to be worked out before the said mechanism becomes a reality.
Security sources said that some other social and other issues would also be discussed in the meeting, scheduled to be held in Itanagar on September 13 and 14. The other issues likely to come up include spilling over of problems of one state to the other. Giving such an example, sources said that when the draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in Assam, it created problems in neighbouring states.
The first meeting of the police chiefs of the North East, which is convened by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), was held in 1982 when insurgency in Nagaland started spilling over to other states of the region and the conference to be held in Itanagar will be the 25 conference. Apart from senior police officers of the states of the region, it will also be attended by police officers from West Bengal and officers of the security forces deployed in the region. The Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju will also attend the conference.
Sources said that the Prime Minister has also stressed the need for improving regional cooperation by the police forces of the states and in recent times, there has been vast improvement in coordination and sharing of information between the police forces of the North East states. Subsidiary Multi Agency Centres (SMAC) are also functioning in the states, which also helped in sharing of inputs, sources added.