Guwahati, Aug 11 (IANS): Security forces were put on maximum alert across India's northeast as 12 guerrilla groups on Thursday called a 17-hour general strike and boycott of Independence Day celebrations.
"We are fighting against the colonial India for sovereignty and will be fighting for it to the end. We appeal to the entire people of the region to be aware of the dirty ploys of the Indian government and rise to the occasion and make the boycott and the general strike a complete success," a rebel statement by the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) said.
The major militant groups that called for a boycott of the Independence Day celebrations include the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), fighting for a separate homeland comprising parts of Assam and West Bengal, the Tripura People's Democratic Front (TPDF), the People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) of Manipur, and the Hynnitrep National Liberation Front (HNLC) of Meghalaya.
These groups are active in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura. As part of the boycott call Aug 15, the militant groups have called for a general strike from midnight to 5 p.m. Monday.
Militant groups in the northeast have for years boycotted national events to protest New Delhi's rule over the region.
Security forces have been put on maximum alert across the region to thwart possible rebel strikes, officials said.
"We have put forces on alert to foil any attempts by militants to sabotage the Independence Day celebrations," senior Assam police official G.P. Singh said.
The run-up to the events has always been violent, with rebels striking vital installations like crude oil pipelines, trains, roads and rail bridges besides targeting security personnel.