GUWAHATI, Aug 9 - The threat to Assam from the terrorist outfits backed by the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) cannot be overlooked, while the Central Government has already warned all the States to remain alert on possibility of attacks from such outfits.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Director General of Assam Police, Khagen Sarma said that most of the terrorist outfits backed by the Pakistani agency work under the same umbrella and any of these groups can try to indulge in acts of violence to create disturbance. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also recently convened a meeting to alert the States about the possibility of such attacks.
Sarma pointed out that ISI-backed terrorists already launched attacks in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir in recent times and the terrorists can try such attacks in Assam also. He said that elements of such forces can try to sneak into Assam through Bangladesh. But they can also try to come to Assam from other parts of the country, he added. He said that the police and security forces have been put on high alert to thwart any such attempt by the terrorists.
The DGP said that terrorist outfits like the Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) have not been able to make inroads in Assam and till date, the police is not apprehending any major threat from such outfits. �The threat in Assam is from the ISI-backed outfits and not from groups like the IS and Al Qaeda as there is no report of presence of these groups in the State,� he added.
Sarma said that police and security forces are keeping a close watch on the situation in the State so that groups like Al Qaeda and IS cannot establish and expand bases. He also asserted that the police and security forces are fully prepared to thwart any threat from such outfits as well as from the ISI-backed outfits.
Replying to a question, the DGP admitted that in the past, Islamic militant outfits, including the Harkat Ul Mujaheedin (HUM) and PULF tried to establish roots in Assam to create disturbance. But such attempts could be foiled. Similarly, attempts by the Jamaat ul Mujaheedin, Bangladesh (JMB) to establish bases in the State were also foiled. However, the JMB is still making efforts to establish bases in Assam. He admitted that the police would have to keep a close watch on the situation to foil the attempts of the JMB.
It may be mentioned here that the JMB activities in Assam came to light after an accidental blast in West Bengal and several persons involved with JMB activities were apprehended by the police and National Investigating Agency. It also came to light during the investigations that several persons from the State were trained up in the bases of the JMB in Burdwan area of West Bengal.