GUWAHATI, June 4 - With China making statements warning India to be cautious in building infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh following the formal inauguration of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge, which has been named after Bhupen Hazarika, and reports of movement of militants near both sides of the bridge, armed security personnel have been deployed to keep a close watch on the longest bridge in the country round the clock.
Highly placed police sources told The Assam Tribune that the threat to the bridge cannot be overlooked as China made a strong statement immediately after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the bridge and it is now a well established fact that the militant groups of the Northeast are acting as per the instructions of some Chinese agencies. Moreover, there has been �human intelligence� that recently an operative of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) managed to sneak into the State from Nepal, which also added to the worries of the police and security forces.
Sources said that one company of armed policemen has been deployed specifically to keep a close vigil on the Bhupen Hazarika Setu so that no militant can target it and operations in the areas near the bridge have also been intensified.
Sources pointed out that China is apparently not happy over the construction of the bridge, which not only improved road connectivity of the area but also gave a fillip to India�s defence preparedness as it opened another route to the international border. The 9.15-km-long bridge is also designed to handle heavy tanks and perhaps that is why China made such a statement immediately after it was inaugurated.
Police sources said that of late China and Pakistan have become close and the recent opening of the China-Pakistan economic corridor is an example in this regard. That is why, the report of an ISI operative entering India and movement of militants in the areas near the bridge are causing concern for security agencies. Immediately after receiving the input about the entry of an ISI agent, the superintendents of police of all the districts have been alerted. �But the problem is that we do not have any specific details. It was only an intelligence input,� sources added.
On threat to the bridge from the Northeast-based militants, sources said there were reports of movement of militants in that area. �We do not have specific inputs about any militant outfit targeting the bridge. But it is a known fact that Chinese agencies had asked Northeast-based militant outfits to work jointly, following which they launched a series of joint operations. The possibility of the militants targeting the bridge to please China cannot be ruled out and that is why police is not taking any chance,� sources added.
Though militancy is on the wane in the State, the major problem is that the militants still have strong bases in parts of Arunachal Pradesh, particularly in Tirap and Changlang districts and in Mon and Tuensang districts of Nagaland. Taking advantage of the terrain in the inter-state border areas, they can sneak into Assam and strike before retreating to their hideouts, sources pointed out.