GUWAHATI, Sept 15 - The meeting of the heads of police forces of the northeastern states has decided to improve coordination at the ground level to deal with inter-state movement of militants and other problems arising in the inter-state border areas. The meeting also discussed strategies to deal with possible jehadi threat to the region as a whole.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the meeting, which was convened by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as a part of the effort to improve regional cooperation among law enforcing agencies, concluded in Itanagar yesterday. The meeting was also attended by senior officers of the Central forces deployed in the region.
Though the coordination among police forces of the states of the region improved considerably over the years, there is scope for improvement and efforts were also made to identify the common problems and threats. One major threat to the region is that states of the Northeast have long international boundaries. Most of the active militant groups of the region have strong bases in Myanmar, while inter-state movement of militants is a major issue. The militant groups have strong bases in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and Mon and Tuensang districts of Nagaland. From those bases, they often try to sneak into Assam to indulge in acts of violence.
To deal with the problem, there is need for strong coordination among the security forces on the ground level. The meeting decided that there should be coordination at the range DIG level to deal with such problems. Coordination at the ground level will also be helpful in dealing with other problems arising in the inter-state border areas, sources pointed out.
Sources said that possible threat by jehadi elements is also a major cause of concern and the Assam Police came to know about a youth from Assam joining terrorist outfit Hijbul Mujahideen only after a Facebook post was released in April this year. The person was arrested in Uttar Pradesh recently. There is a strong possibility of other youths of the region joining such terror groups and the police forces would have to be vigilant on the issue. Moreover, the region shares long international boundary with Bangladesh and with the neighbouring country going for polls later this year, the forces need to be alert as a change of government in that country may result in growth of fundamentalist forces and their activities can spill over to the northeastern region.
Sources said the police heads also discussed ways to deal with inter-state border disputes and to suggest measures to the respective governments to deal with the issue. They also decided to cooperate with each other in case of natural disasters.
The issue of formation of the NEPOL, the institutionalized mechanism to augment inter-state cooperation of the security forces was also discussed in detail. Sources revealed that some minor details would have to be worked out in this regard. But the NEPOL is likely to become active soon, sources added.