Maoists expanding base in Assam

Guwahati, May 4 (ANI): In what should be a major concern to the government, the Maoists are reportedly multiplying their numbers and expanding their operations in the state.

According to reports, Maoists have formed Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Army in Assam to fight the government.

They have civil and publicity wings to recruit poor and unemployed youth of the state.

Most of their activities are restricted to Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts of Upper Assam. High-ranking Maoist officials reportedly often visit Assam to monitor the expansion work.

Home Minister P Chidambaram and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi have acknowledged the growing threat.

The security forces have been alerted and there are plans of deployment of more paramilitary companies and implementation of integrated action plan in the state.

Assam’s Director General of Police (DGP), Jayanta Narayan Chaudhury, however believes it to be a publicity stunt by the Maoists.

“Maoists want to create a base in the rural areas of Assam. Their strategy is to generate publicity for themselves in areas, which have less popularity for the government,” Chaudhury said.

The Maoists have a strength of about 125-150 cadres in the state who are trained in forests of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.

They have established links with Northeast based insurgent outfits like ULFA, NSCN and PLA to procure weapons.

Investigations reveal that they have started extortion in Assam.

Maoists are also providing tactical training to insurgents from the Northeast in their camps. A few months ago ULFA cadres including Aditya Bora were arrested from their camps.

Experts believe that the primary reason for the heightened Maoist movement is not violence, but arms procurement.

“In Assam there are three zones that Maoists have formed. One is on Assam-Nagaland border, another is Assam-Arunachal border and other is on Assam-West Bengal zone. The main reason behind this Maoist movement is not for violence but for procuring arms because Maoists depend on illegal small arms to carry out their activities. And one of the main areas where they can get arms is in Dimapur and towards Manipur coming from Myanmar,” said Namrata Goswami, an expert.Most insurgents groups in Assam are in dialogue with the government and Maoists are trying to take advantage of this vacuum and destabilize the region.

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