New to the Northeast | Is Assam facing a new terrorist threat? | Indian news | Media Pyro


At a press conference in Guwahati last Thursday, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the North-East region has become a “hot spot for Islam” with ties to Bangladesh – a new threat after the incidence of local insurgency in the region has decreased in recent years.

He pointed out that the five people were killed“Jihad” parts of the region since March this year and the arrest of nearly two dozen people including a Bangladeshi national linked to the Ansarullah Bangla Group (ABT), a terrorist group based in the neighboring country with links to Al Qaida of the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), as examples of how the risk has increased.

Sarma said that as per intelligence available, at least six members of ABT from Bangladesh entered India illegally in 2016-2017 and created terror units and sleeper cells by inciting local youth in Assam. .Jihad‘the thought.

“It has now been proved beyond doubt that Assam has become a hotbed of Islamic origins. Out of the six ABT members, we have arrested only one and five have escaped. So, you can imagine the gravity of the situation. .There could be 100 more such, which we are not aware of,” said the CM.

“Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in Kabul a few days ago. He is the same man who made the appeal Jihad of Assam. This shows that Assam is already keeping an eye on the top leadership of Al Qaida,” he added.

This wasn’t the first time,’Jihadelements, some linked to Bangladesh, were found and arrested in Assam. Himanta, head of the home department, informed that it was first seen in 1999 when it broke out of a unit of Harkat-ul-Mujahedin (HUM) based in Bangladesh.

In 2003-04, a module of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) was defeated. Between 2011 and 2016, the security forces cracked down on several sections of Jamat-ul-Mujahedin (JUM), Bangladesh and Hijbul Mujahedin. In 2018, one unit of Hijbul Mujahideen (HM) was found.

The Minister informed that while such activities were few in the past, they are now many.JihadCorrelations are drawn from the region with stress frequency.

According to the police investigation, those arrested in the last four months were found to be using modern technology to communicate, rarely using their phones for calls, and there was a complete set of different categories of members. using multiple names.

Sarma says she was arrested.Veterans‘ showed “very high levels of extremism and total adherence to ‘Sharia’ law” adding that all units are linked to ‘madrasas’.

The Assam government has already closed nearly 800 state-run madrasas in the state and converted them into regular schools. According to the official data, at present, there are around 1500 private madrasas in the region – 800 ‘ethnic madrasas’, 500 ‘hafizi madrasas’ and 200 ‘banat madrasas’ in the region.

“These people were working as preachers in mosques – a secret job – their purpose was to work Jihad against India and establish the ‘Sharia’ law. Several training camps have been organized for these people, especially during Covid-19. They were taught craft (techniques/technologies used in modern espionage), extremism, practice, gunnery training and bomb making,” he added.

Although there is no accidentJihad“Terrorist attacks have happened in the region, CM said that ABT members in Bangladesh should start getting a base, followed by educating the youth, and then actively participating”Jihad‘ works and ultimately leads to subversive activities.

“Their idea is to educate a large number of people as soon as possible. These people are not interested in committing acts of subversion until they convince a large number of people to revolt against the government,” said the CM.

Sarma’s comments suggested that ‘VeteransIt could be a new headache for the security agencies in Assam and cause concern among the common citizens. This comes at a time when the region, which has been devastated by insurgents for almost four decades, has seen a decline in terrorist activity.

The Assam Rebellion began in April, 1979 with the formation of the Liberation Front of Asom—part of an anti-foreigner uprising against the influx of illegal immigrants into the state of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan). The stated aim of the outfit was to create an independent Assam.

Ten years later, the Bodo Security Force (BSF) was formed in the lower areas of Assam. The group, representing the Bodo community, wanted to create an independent Bodo nation. This was followed by the emergence of many costumes of different communities with different purposes. According to the South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP), at one time Assam had 60 different terrorist outfits.

After a peace accord was signed by the Center with the BSF in 1993, other Bodo groups emerged such as the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which consisted of several factions and the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), which continued to operate in Bodo areas. many years.

ULFA cadre in Assam in a photo dated 20 September, 1991. (HT Photo)
ULFA cadre in Assam in a photo dated 20 September, 1991. (HT Photo)

In February 2011, the ULFA split into two factions – a faction led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa who decided to renounce past violence and hold talks with the Center without any conditions and another faction led by commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, who decided against it. talks renamed ULFA-Independent.

The NDFB came to a ceasefire in 2005 and another faction surrendered in 2010. In 2020, the remaining three factions of the NDFB surrendered and a new peace accord was signed with the Center and the Assam government. According to the agreement, they all dissolved and filed all their hands. In the last two years, more than 4,000 of them have been repaired.

In January 2020, before the signing of the peace agreement, 644 rebels from eight different factions surrendered, and 1,615 cadres of the three NDFB factions gave up arms after signing the same agreement. that month. In December 2020, self-proclaimed former deputy commander of the Independent Liberation Front of Asom-I (ULFA-I) Drishti Rajkhowa and 62 other rebels from four factions in the state laid down their arms.

One of Assam’s most feared militant leaders, Ingti Kathar Songbijit, who headed the People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), a militant group from Karbi Anglong, laid down his arms in February. last year. Songbijit along with 1,039 other fighters from five Karbi Anglong militias – PDCK, Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), United Peoples Liberation Army (UPLA), Karbi Peoples’ Liberation Tiger (KPLT) and Jabhadda Liberation of Karbi KLF), laid down arms.

Earlier this year, the Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) entered the land and confiscated all their weapons. They surrendered in three divisions, all the leaders of the outfit and the cadres of 117 people surrendered their weapons. According to the police, 16 rebel groups, big and small, have surrendered, disbanded and signed peace agreements in recent years, now ULFA-I and Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) are the only active groups in Assam.

The change in the situation was also reflected in the activities of terrorist outfits in the region. A report prepared by the SATP shows that 565 people (183 civilians, 76 security forces and 287 terrorists) died in the region in 2001, compared to 29 (10 civilians, 19 terrorists) last year.

Importantly, citing COVID-19 as the reason, ULFA-I announced a unilateral ceasefire for the first time in May 2021, which continues. The group has urged the public to boycott last year’s Independence Day and this year’s Republic Day celebrations, for the first time in many years. The original broadcast follows ULFA-I and KLO to bring dialogue.

In March this year, the Center decided to withdraw from the sensitive areas marked under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in many parts of Assam due to “significant improvement in law and order” in the state. This Act, which gives unlimited powers to the Army, has not been implemented in 23 districts and parts of one district of Assam district. It will continue to operate in 9 districts.

AFSPA was imposed across Assam in November 1990 following violent activities by the ULFA. Since then, it has been extended every six months.

On Saturday, days before the 75th Independence Day celebrations, reversing its earlier stand, the ULFA-I issued a statement announcing a shutdown in Assam on August 15 and urged the public to boycott the event.

The announcement of the banned group and the state government’s claim that Assam is turning into a “hotbed” for Islamic fundamentalism may mean that peace is yet to fully return, and the AFSPA controversy may remain productive for years. many.

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