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NE, West Bengal need to coordinate action

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Nov 20 � There is an urgent need for synergy of policies among the states of the North East and West Bengal to deal with the problem of militancy as militants very frequently cross over from one state to the other to evade arrest by the police and security forces.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that though the coordination among the police forces of the North East states has improved considerably, there is need for all the Governments to adopt similar policies to deal with militants.

Sources pointed out that after the increase of security presence in the Changlang area of Arunachal Pradesh, members of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) have started shifting bases to Mon district of Nagaland. But as the major militants of Nagaland are under ceasefire, the state police is not taking strong action against the ULFA(I) men staying in that state and that is where the need for better synergy of policies of the state Governments comes to the fore.

Sources pointed out that similarly, the Government of West Bengal had adopted a tough stand against the Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO), forcing the outfit to shift bases to Assam and to establish strong links with the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).

Sources said that the KLO had sent feelers to the West Bengal Government expressing its desire to come to a ceasefire agreement, but the Government decided to take the outfit head-on. On the face of strong action by the West Bengal Government, the KLO has even started recruiting youths from Assam, particularly from the lower Assam districts to strengthen its bases in the State.

Similarly, the Government of Meghalaya has decided to intensify operations against the militants belonging to the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), which was creating problems in Garo Hills for a long time.

Meanwhile, on the activities of the ULFA(I), sources said that the ULFA members staying in Nagaland, including hardcore militant Nayan Medhi, are calling up the tea gardens in upper Assam demanding money. The militants are also offering �package deals� to the gardens assuring them that if certain amounts are paid now, the gardens would not be disturbed for a certain period of time. The intercepts by the security agencies proved that some garden owners are negotiating with the militants, but it is still not known whether any garden paid money to the militants. Sources also said that a few sympathizers of the ULFA were involved in collecting the phone numbers of the important persons of the tea gardens.

Sources revealed that Nayan Medhi was holding fort in Majuli river island for a long time along with a few other members of the outfit, but in the face of operations by security forces, they were forced to leave the place.

On the strength of the ULFA(I) in Myanmar, sources said that around 180 to 200 members are staying in the camps in the neighbouring country, which include a few new recruits sent there for training. Recently eight members including four sent there only a month back, tried to escape from the camps of the ULFA. One of them was killed while, three were nabbed by other members of the outfit. Two managed to come back to Assam and surrendered in Tinsukia but the whereabouts of the other two are not yet known.

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NE, West Bengal need to coordinate action

GUWAHATI, Nov 20 � There is an urgent need for synergy of policies among the states of the North East and West Bengal to deal with the problem of militancy as militants very frequently cross over from one state to the other to evade arrest by the police and security forces.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that though the coordination among the police forces of the North East states has improved considerably, there is need for all the Governments to adopt similar policies to deal with militants.

Sources pointed out that after the increase of security presence in the Changlang area of Arunachal Pradesh, members of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) have started shifting bases to Mon district of Nagaland. But as the major militants of Nagaland are under ceasefire, the state police is not taking strong action against the ULFA(I) men staying in that state and that is where the need for better synergy of policies of the state Governments comes to the fore.

Sources pointed out that similarly, the Government of West Bengal had adopted a tough stand against the Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO), forcing the outfit to shift bases to Assam and to establish strong links with the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).

Sources said that the KLO had sent feelers to the West Bengal Government expressing its desire to come to a ceasefire agreement, but the Government decided to take the outfit head-on. On the face of strong action by the West Bengal Government, the KLO has even started recruiting youths from Assam, particularly from the lower Assam districts to strengthen its bases in the State.

Similarly, the Government of Meghalaya has decided to intensify operations against the militants belonging to the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), which was creating problems in Garo Hills for a long time.

Meanwhile, on the activities of the ULFA(I), sources said that the ULFA members staying in Nagaland, including hardcore militant Nayan Medhi, are calling up the tea gardens in upper Assam demanding money. The militants are also offering �package deals� to the gardens assuring them that if certain amounts are paid now, the gardens would not be disturbed for a certain period of time. The intercepts by the security agencies proved that some garden owners are negotiating with the militants, but it is still not known whether any garden paid money to the militants. Sources also said that a few sympathizers of the ULFA were involved in collecting the phone numbers of the important persons of the tea gardens.

Sources revealed that Nayan Medhi was holding fort in Majuli river island for a long time along with a few other members of the outfit, but in the face of operations by security forces, they were forced to leave the place.

On the strength of the ULFA(I) in Myanmar, sources said that around 180 to 200 members are staying in the camps in the neighbouring country, which include a few new recruits sent there for training. Recently eight members including four sent there only a month back, tried to escape from the camps of the ULFA. One of them was killed while, three were nabbed by other members of the outfit. Two managed to come back to Assam and surrendered in Tinsukia but the whereabouts of the other two are not yet known.

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