Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Maoists looking for bases in Assam: Gogoi

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Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday said the Maoists were trying to establish bases in the state with active support from various groups and organisations aimed at destabilising the region.

“It is a fact that the Maoists are there in Assam and trying their best to set up strongholds,” the chief minister told journalists.

Gogoi was reacting to confessional statements made by the four Maoists arrested by police over the weekend in east Assam.

“There are people, including various over-ground groups, who are supporting the Maoists. The whole idea is to destabilise the state,” the chief minister said.

Gogoi said the government was aware of the Maoists’ plans to strike terror and penetrate deep into the state.

“We are very much concerned and hence taking all steps to thwart their designs,” the chief minister said.

Police arrested four youths in the east Tinsukia district on Sunday on charges of having Maoist links.

“There are several insurgent groups in Assam that have direct Maoist links. We cannot divulge all he details now,” the chief minister said.

There were fears that the Maoists were trying to penetrate into Assam’s tea plantations taking advantage of the poor living conditions and grievances of the workers.

Reports said the Maoists from east India may have forged links with a ragtag Assam-based group called the All Adivasi National Liberation Army, whose cadres were drawn from the state’s tea workers’ community.

The Maoists were also eyeing to create trouble in Bhutan and were hence keen to set up bases in Assam to stage hit-and-run guerrilla strikes in the adjoining Buddhist nation, reports said.

Bhutan witnessed a pro-democracy agitation in the 1990s with a section of Nepali-speaking residents in its southern parts rising in revolt. The crackdown that followed led thousands of Nepali-speaking people from southern Bhutan to flee to Nepal.

Now an estimated 100,000 people are sheltered in relief camps. There are reports that the Maoists have been drawn from the aggrieved refugees now based in Nepal. (IANS)

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