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Security beefed up to thwart violence ahead of I-Day

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Aug 5 - With the Independence Day approaching, the police and security forces have started receiving disturbing inputs about attempts of ultras to create disturbance to make their presence felt, while allout efforts are being made to thwart the game plan of the militants. Security personnel have already been deployed in different parade grounds in the State to keep round-the-clock vigil.

Highly placed police sources told The Assam Tribune that according to inputs available with security agencies, the common platform of the active militant groups of the Northeast would try to launch joint operations in the run-up to the Independence Day celebrations. A seven-member team of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), led by hardcore militant Uday Asom managed to sneak into India and the militants are now roaming in the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border areas, waiting for an opportunity to strike. The members of the team are in constant touch with senior leaders of the outfit, including Nayan Medhi and Arunodoi Asom, and on a few occasions, they even managed to sneak into the Kakopathar area of Assam before retreating to Arunachal Pradesh.

Sources revealed that because of its dwindling strength, the ULFA(I) has been trying to take the help of other outfits, which are part of the common platform of the militant groups of the Northeast, to indulge in acts of violence during the Independence Day celebrations. In the past also, the ULFA(I) had taken the help of other militant groups and there are instances where militants belonging to Manipur-based PLA helped the ULFA(I) in planting bombs.

The possibility of the ULFA(I) �outsourcing� the task of planting bombs or lobbing grenades in places like Guwahati also cannot be ruled out, sources added. On the other hand, after the change of guard in the NSCN(K) following the demise of SS Khaplang, the new leadership of the outfit is also desperate to make their presence felt and they may try to strike at security forces.

The districts considered most vulnerable in the run-up to the Independence Day include Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar, although the police and security forces are not lowering their guards in the other districts of the State. The bases of militants in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh and two in Nagaland have become major causes of concern for Assam. Army personnel of the Kumaon Regiment have been deployed in those areas to check inter-state border activities of the militants.

On steps taken to thwart the designs of militants, sources said both the strategy group and the operational group of the Unified Command held meetings to discuss the threats and chalk out strategies to deal with the situation. Separate meetings were also held to review the security of parade grounds and deployments were made accordingly. Specific instructions have been issued to the district police chiefs to ensure peaceful celebration of the Independence day.

Sources admitted that there was a probability of communal tension following the killing of ABMSU president Lafikul Islam, but the State Director General of Police stationed himself in Kokrajhar to monitor the situation, while other senior officers fanned out to areas that were considered vulnerable. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also held a meeting with the ABMSU leaders and formed a special investigation team to probe the killing which also helped in defusing tension to a great extent, sources added.

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Security beefed up to thwart violence ahead of I-Day

GUWAHATI, Aug 5 - With the Independence Day approaching, the police and security forces have started receiving disturbing inputs about attempts of ultras to create disturbance to make their presence felt, while allout efforts are being made to thwart the game plan of the militants. Security personnel have already been deployed in different parade grounds in the State to keep round-the-clock vigil.

Highly placed police sources told The Assam Tribune that according to inputs available with security agencies, the common platform of the active militant groups of the Northeast would try to launch joint operations in the run-up to the Independence Day celebrations. A seven-member team of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), led by hardcore militant Uday Asom managed to sneak into India and the militants are now roaming in the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border areas, waiting for an opportunity to strike. The members of the team are in constant touch with senior leaders of the outfit, including Nayan Medhi and Arunodoi Asom, and on a few occasions, they even managed to sneak into the Kakopathar area of Assam before retreating to Arunachal Pradesh.

Sources revealed that because of its dwindling strength, the ULFA(I) has been trying to take the help of other outfits, which are part of the common platform of the militant groups of the Northeast, to indulge in acts of violence during the Independence Day celebrations. In the past also, the ULFA(I) had taken the help of other militant groups and there are instances where militants belonging to Manipur-based PLA helped the ULFA(I) in planting bombs.

The possibility of the ULFA(I) �outsourcing� the task of planting bombs or lobbing grenades in places like Guwahati also cannot be ruled out, sources added. On the other hand, after the change of guard in the NSCN(K) following the demise of SS Khaplang, the new leadership of the outfit is also desperate to make their presence felt and they may try to strike at security forces.

The districts considered most vulnerable in the run-up to the Independence Day include Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar, although the police and security forces are not lowering their guards in the other districts of the State. The bases of militants in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh and two in Nagaland have become major causes of concern for Assam. Army personnel of the Kumaon Regiment have been deployed in those areas to check inter-state border activities of the militants.

On steps taken to thwart the designs of militants, sources said both the strategy group and the operational group of the Unified Command held meetings to discuss the threats and chalk out strategies to deal with the situation. Separate meetings were also held to review the security of parade grounds and deployments were made accordingly. Specific instructions have been issued to the district police chiefs to ensure peaceful celebration of the Independence day.

Sources admitted that there was a probability of communal tension following the killing of ABMSU president Lafikul Islam, but the State Director General of Police stationed himself in Kokrajhar to monitor the situation, while other senior officers fanned out to areas that were considered vulnerable. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also held a meeting with the ABMSU leaders and formed a special investigation team to probe the killing which also helped in defusing tension to a great extent, sources added.

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