GUWAHATI, Jan 19 � Pan Islamic militancy and Maoists may pose long term threat to Assam, observed the Director General of Assam Police, Khagen Sarma. He also expressed the hope that the police and security forces would soon be able to contain the activities of the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Sarma admitted that the Pan-Islamic militant groups have not yet been able to make major inroads in Assam, but the threat for the future cannot be overlooked. He revealed that in the past, a number of youths from Assam were trained in Pakistan and Bangladesh by organizations like the Laskar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Harkat -ul-Mujaheedin (HUM). Though most of the youths trained by such organizations either surrendered or were arrested, some of them are still outside and the possibility of such organizations making fresh bids to make inroads into Assam cannot be ruled out, he pointed out.
On the threat from the Maoist rebels, Sarma admitted that the Maoists have also not yet been able to make strong inroads into Assam and the arrests of several key members also affected the Maoists in the last few years. He revealed that a number of youths from Assam were trained by the Maoists in Jharkhand and Nagaland and there is need for keeping a close watch on the activities of the Maoist rebels to prevent them from establishing strong roots in the State.
Replying to a question on the sudden spurt of activities by the NDFB(S), Sarma said that the outfit is looking for soft targets. He expressed the hope that the police and security forces would be able to contain the activities of the outfit. He admitted that very often, members of the NDFB(S) cross over to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, �but they would have to come down to Assam for launching operations�. He also asserted that as soon as formal talks with the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB starts, some old cadres of the NDFB would come over ground to join the peace process.
The DGP said that the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) is plagued by internal conflicts as is evident from the killing of senior leader Partha Pratim Gogoi, but the outfit might try some actions to make its presence felt in the run-up to the Republic Day celebrations. He also admitted that the presence of the Kamatapur Liberation (KLO) has increased in Assam in recent times.