R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 9: Though the activities of militant outfits in Assam are on the wane, senior leaders of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) are taking keen interest on the political developments in the run up to the polls and police and security forces are augmenting security measures along the interstate border areas to prevent militants from sneaking into the State.

Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the operation group of the Unified Command yesterday discussed the security scenario in view of the ensuing polls and discussed measures to be adopted to ensure peaceful polls.

According to assessment of the situation by the police and security agencies, there is no serious threat from any militant outfit during the polls. But the security forces have decided not to lower their guards and it was decided that the coordination mechanism between the forces on the ground would be strengthened further so that the elections can be held peacefully.

Sources said that more than 20 companies of Central forces, who were already in Assam for other duties, have been assigned the task of election related duties and relocation of forces has already started.

As the election in the State will be held in three phases, it will be easier to relocate forces after the completion of each phase of the polls. It is still not known whether any more force would be deployed in the State.

On the activities of the militant groups and possibility of such outfits creating disturbance during the polls, sources said that after the surrender of all four factions of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) last year and the recent surrender of Karbi Anglong based ultra groups, militancy is on the wane and there is no input of any outfit planning any major disturbance. However, the ULFA (I) is taking keen interest on political developments. The commander- in- chief of the outfit Paresh Baruah started calling up a number of persons in the State regularly to get feedback about the political situation. He also called up a few political leaders in recent times, sources added.

There have been reports of movements of small groups of militants in Mon district of Nagaland and Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh and the security measures along the borders of the states have been augmented. The officials of Assam Police are in regular touch with their counterparts in the neighbouring states, while, the intelligence and other security agencies are also keeping a watch on the situation.

The recovery of weapons in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) is a matter of concern and a close watch on the situation is being maintained.

The Election Commission has already issued broad guidelines to ensure peaceful polls and armed components of forces would be deployed in all the poll buildings, while, mobile teams would carry out patrolling. The Army will be used only for area domination and counter insurgency operations, sources added.