GUWAHATI, April 29 – The growth of the Maoist rebel groups in Assam has become a matter of serious concern as those groups have recently formed the Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Army, the armed wing to launch war against the Government. According to reports, two central committee members of the Maoists recently visited the state to monitor the expansion of the rebel group.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that launching of armed struggle is the last stage of the movement of the Maoists as they first try to establish roots in any particular area by working among the downtrodden sections of the society and by taking up local issues. The fact that the Maoists have formed the armed group in the State proved that they managed to establish strong roots in Assam, sources said.
Sources said that the Maoists have military and civil wings and publicity and organization wing have also been formed in Assam. The Maoists have already formed an Upper Assam Leading Committee and efforts are on to form Middle Assam and Lower Assam Committees, sources revealed. Aditya Bora, who was arrested in a Maoist camp in Orissa-Jharkhand border, is the main person of the Maoists in Assam.
On the strength of the Maoists in Assam, sources said that the total strength would be around 100 and the main base of the rebels is still in the Sadiya area. So far, around 27 Maoists have been arrested in Assam, but 17 of them jumped bail after their release and are working for the rebels. The commander of the military wing Paul Gogoi was killed in an encounter with the security forces in October but it is not known who has taken over as the head of the military wing.
The Maoists have so far been involved in three cases of arms snatching from security and forest personnel and the weapons that they have now include three or four AK series rifles, and a few carbines, pistols and 315 rifles. Sources said that it is difficult to get information of the Maoists as they hardly use phones to communicate among themselves and the lower level cadres are normally now allowed to meet their seniors.
The Maoist rebels have close ties with Manipur based outfit PLA and both the outfits signed an agreement to cooperate with each other long back, while, security forces also came to know that members of the NSCN (I-M) imparted training to Maoist rebels in two places.
Sources said that the Maoist rebels have started extortions but they are not demanding huge amounts and most of the collections are in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000. Most of the cattle farmers of the Sadiya area received extortion demands from the Maoist rebels. It is reported that a few tea gardens of the area also received demands from the Maoist rebels.
Security sources said that with a number of militant groups of Assam going on cease-fire mode, the Maoists would try to fill up the vacuum and from some recent intercepts, the security agencies have come to know that the hardline faction of the ULFA has also become apprehensive of the growth of Maoists.