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Troops to flush out rebels
Published on 2 Mar. 2009 12:30 AM IST
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Security forces have launched a “Clean Majuli” operation to flush out militants suspected to be holed up in the river island, reports The Telegraph. Police sources said additional troops had been rushed to the island to conduct operations against the militants. “Two platoons of CRPF personnel have been sent to the island to add teeth to the operations. Assam police commandos are already operating there,” a senior police official said today. He said river patrolling along the Brahmaputra had also been intensified. “We have also sought the help of local boatmen. We have asked them to provide information if they see any movement of suspicious persons.” Security was intensified after the death of a senior Ulfa leader, Bhaskar Hazarika, in an encounter at Baligaon village under Jengrai police station on Thursday. Several arms and ammunition were also recovered from Hazarika. The official said the findings so far suggest that Hazarika had come to the island to set up a strong base. “There are reports of militant movements on the island but we never thought that such a senior leader would come here. Ulfa might have made plans to set up a base on the island,” he added. The official said it was not easy to conduct an operation in Majuli since the island was scattered and by the time the security forces got information about the presence of militants, they fled. Quoting intelligence reports, the official said Ulfa was trying to strengthen its base in Majuli since the island was the last bastion of the 28 battalion, especially after the declaration of ceasefire by the Alpha and Charlie companies of the battalion. He said Ulfa could also have selected the island in Jorhat district to set up base because it was free from army operations, unlike other districts in Upper Assam.

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