JORHAT, Nov 13 - Militants belonging to the banned NSCN-K frequently visit offices of Coal India Limited (CIL) in Tinsukia district, demanding money from its officials, police and CIL officials said today.
Heavily armed cadres of the group, which had pulled out of the ceasefire agreement with the Centre early this year, visit CIL offices in remote locations at Margherita, Ledo and Changlang in Tinsukia district, threatening the officials with dire consequences if they failed to part with large sums of money, a top police official said.
Official sources said NSCN-K had an eye on the huge mineral deposits in Assam after Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
�The matter was reported to our higher authorities at the district and state level and we were advised to stay at our guest house until the matter is resolved,� CIL officials said on condition of anonymity.
The area has been terrorised by militants and has become difficult to work, according to the officials.
Coal fields at Namdang, Tipong, Ledo, Tirap, Tikok and others are all located in interior areas from where thousands of tonnes of coal are extracted every day, they say.
Police sources said that the NSCN-K was trying to collect money as they were facing a huge financial crisis due to relentless pressure brought upon them by security forces since the Manipur ambush.
�The NSCN-K initially targeted coal fields in eastern Nagaland, mainly in the Mon and Tuensang districts, after which they set its eye on the rich coal fields in Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh,� the police sources said.
The outfit recently started targeting coalfields in Upper Assam particularly in Sonari, Tuli, Mukalamba and Margherita subdivisions, they said. � PTI