‘Northeast rebels plan attack after Myanmar crackdown’

‘Northeast rebels plan attack after Myanmar crackdown’

Explosives and bomb-making equipment recovered from the actress's rented house in Guwahati on Thursday. DH photo

Hit by Myanmar Army's recent crackdown on their hideouts, militant groups in the Northeast are desperate to carry out attacks to make their existence felt, security officials in Assam claimed on Thursday.

“We have either arrested several Ulfa (I) cadres or forced them to surrender in the past few weeks. We have seized large number of arms and ammunition too. So now they are desperately trying to carry out an attack to show their strength,” Assam director general of police Kuladhar Saikia told reporters, here.

The claim comes a day after suspected Ulfa (Independent) militants lobbed a grenade on security forces in front of a shopping mall here, in which 12 persons were injured. Two jawans of Sasatra Seema Bal (SSB) were among the injured.

Sources said at least 20 militants belonging to Ulfa (I) and NDFB (S) have either been arrested or surrendered since Myanmar Army’s crackdown in February against militant groups from the Northeast taking shelter in their soil. Myanmar Army took over the headquarters of NSCN (Khaplang) in Sagaing province following which many cadres of NSCN (K), Ulfa (I), NDFB (S) and KLO had reportedly fled Myanmar and got in touch with security agencies to surrender. Security forces, however, stepped up operation along the India-Myanmar border in Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to foil their attempt to sneak into Indian territory.

NSCN (K) heads the United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia—a conglomeration of rebel groups from the Northeast that has kept the region troubled. The forum has been fighting for sovereign Western South East Asia comprising Naga-dominated areas in Myanmar and Northeast India. Jungles of Arunachal Pradesh is used as a transit corridor by the rebel groups from Myanmar to enter Assam.

NSCN (K) is in ceasefire with Myanmar Army but security officials claimed that continuous diplomatic pressure from India prompted the neighbouring country to take over the headquarters of NSCN (K) in February. The Myanmar-based headquarters of the NSCN (K) was the shelter of militants groups from Assam like Ulfa (I), NDFB (S) and KLO but they were reportedly asked to look for alternative shelters following the takeover. Ulfa (I) leader Paresh Baruah is reportedly hiding in an undisclosed location along Myanmar-China borders.

Actress held in blast case 

Police here said Jahnabi Das, a television actress was arrested from a rented house at Panjabari here on Thursday morning with a pistol, explosives and bomb-making equipment. According to police, she was involved in the grenade attack in Guwahati on Wednesday. Police said she was in touch Pranamoy Rajguru, a Ulfa leader, whom police suspect to be the kingpin of the grenade attack. Rajguru was also picked up later in connection with the blast.