Friday, March 1, 2024

Maoists in Assam

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It is for the first time that evidence has come to light about a Maoist presence in Assam. Four Maoist guerrillas were killed in a shootout with the security forces in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district. Three rebels made their getaway. Information has been received that Maoists were sheltering in a village in the district. When security forces started combing the area, Maoists opened fire and the forces retaliated. According to intelligence sources, the rebels had recently formed an armed wing in the region which is considered a Maoist hub. The rebels are working along the Assam-Arunachal border to form an armed wing in Lower Assam as well.

The Maoist foray into Assam is an ominous development. When Kishenji, the Maoist leader in Jangalmahal of West Bengal was alive, he was reported to have spread Maoist tentacles to the sensitive border region close to China and Myanmar. Their present violent activities are especially alarming as they are likely to strengthen the hands of the anti-talks faction of the ULFA under Paresh Barua who is reportedly in China. The banned ULFA outfit has offered strong opposition to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) proposed by the Union Home Ministry. The ULFA has also criticised Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for his support to the proposal which, according to it, will oppress the people of the state. Now the Maoist threat has emerged to further destabilise the situation. The fact that Tarun Gogoi has announced a slew of development schemes in the border areas is proof enough that the Assam government is well aware of Maoist operations in the state.

 

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