GUWAHATI, April 10 - At a time when police and security forces are trying to verify the claim of a separatist terrorist organisation that one Qumar Uz Zaman from Assam joining it, sources said that this is not the first instance of youths from the State joining such outfits. Several such persons were nabbed in the past, while a few, including the one who managed to escape from Guwahati Medical College Hospital after his arrest, are still missing.
Kashmiri separatist group Hizbul Mujahideen made a claim through social media that Zaman, who hails from Jamunamukh in Assam, has joined the outfit. The outfit also posted a picture of Zaman stating, �a new member has joined Hizbul Mujahideen�, while the address of the person was also given along with the photo.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that police and security forces are now trying to verify the terrorist outfit�s claim, but it is a fact that Zaman was not in touch with his family members since July last year. Sources revealed that Zaman had earlier worked in a shop in America and then returned to India to work in a cloth shop in Kashmir.
He used to come to Assam from time to time. Last year, he came home along with his wife and son, and returned to Kashmir alone and the family lost touch with him since July. But interestingly, his family members did not report to police that Zaman was missing.
Sources admitted that this is not the first instance of youths from Assam joining radical terrorist outfits. Way back in 1998-99, around 40 youths from the State, who joined Harkat-ul Mujahideen (HuM) and went to Pakistan for training, were arrested from different parts of Assam. The arrest of four suspects in Guwahati led to other arrests.
However, the then chief of the Assam unit of the HUM, Master Fakaruddin, who hailed from Barpeta, could not be traced. Later, security agencies got an input that he was killed in Afghanistan when America launched a major offensive against Al Queda. However, the reports could not be confirmed.
Another hardcore member of the HUM, Nurul Amin of Nalbari, who was also involved in a case of kidnapping of a foreign national in Delhi, is also missing. Nurul was arrested but he managed to escape from hospital. It was reported that he fled to Bangladesh, but his whereabouts are not known.
Sources pointed out that after the 2012 ethnic riots in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area, the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) tried to establish bases in Assam and the fact came to light only after an accidental blast in Burdwan in West Bengal. However, security forces managed to break the back of the JMB in Assam and arrested around 50 persons.