Security has been beefed up in Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. Security has been tightened in major installations to counter any threat from militant groups including the United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I).
Meanwhile, security forces have tightened security in the bordering areas of Upper Assam. Night patrolling is going on every day to counter any threat from militants. Security in Chabua Air Force base and Mohanbari Airport has been tightened to thwart any threat from the militant groups.
According to sources, recently a 15-member ULFA-I group entered into Assam from Myanmar to carry out subversive activities ahead of Independence day. The group, according to sources, led by dreaded ULFA-I leader Sergeant Major Pradip Asom, includes Sergeant Apurba Asom, Tiger Asom and Binoy Asom.
Sources said that the entire planning and movement of the group is being monitored and co-ordinated by another leader Ganesh Asom from the outfit’s Myanmar camp.
The main task set out for the group is to trigger blasts in the installations belonging to the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), which has several operational fields, installations and services in Upper Assam’s Sivasagar and Charaideo districts.
Sources also informed that the ULFA-I cadres would also receive additional support from some NSCN(K) cadres as and when required to carry out hit and run strikes particularly upon security forces.
It might be mentioned that the ULFA-I and NSCN(K) had jointly launched an attack upon a patrol team of 40 Assam Rifles at Aboi in Mon district of Nagaland, a couple of months ago. The sources also stated that the ULFA-I is taking full advantage of the temporary withdrawal of paramilitary forces from Upper Assam for National Register of Citizens (NRC) duty.
Tinsukia district of Upper Assam is especially vulnerable because of major strikes that have taken place in the district earlier. Tinsukia shares its boundaries with Arunachal Pradesh through which the militants sneak in.
Recently, security forces destroyed a hideout of ULFA-I and recovered a huge cache of weapons and ammunition from Lakhipathar area in Tinsukia district. Their presence and movement in Upper Assam are being continuously reported by intelligence agencies and local sources.
“We are carrying out joint anti-insurgency operations against the militant group in the vulnerable areas of the district. Security has been tightened to counter any threat from militant outfits. We are doing round-the-clock checking and night patrolling is on in the sensitive areas of the district. CRPF and police have been patrolling the district at night,” said Surjeet Singh Paneswar, Additional Superintendent of Police (HQ) of Dibrugarh.
“We are jointly carrying out operations against the militant group and recently we have nabbed many ULFA-I cadres and over-ground workers of the outfit from Upper Assam area. Our operation is going on against the militant group,’’ said an Army source.