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Arunachal seeks joint drive against rebels
Published on 12 Jan. 2010 12:16 AM IST
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Arunachal Pradesh has sought help from neighbouring Assam in conducting joint operations to flush out Ulfa and NDFB militants taking shelter in its jungles along the inter-state border. Speaking to The Telegraph, home minister Tako Dabi said the Arunachal government had expressed concern over the heightened activities of Ulfa and the NDFB in six districts of the state and sought Assam’s help to eject them from its soil. The minister said the state police had launched three offensives in a span of two months to flush out Ulfa and NDFB cadres from the jungles of East Siang, West Siang and Lower Dibang valley, Upper Dibang valley, Lohit and Papum Pare districts. However, the state government had sought Assam’s co-operation for a joint drive to make the operations more effective, he added. A state-level core group on the lines of the Unified Command structure of Assam had been constituted for proper co-ordination between the administration, army, other security forces and intelligence agencies to flush out militants operating in the state and thwart attacks by jihadi elements in December 2008. “The state government had formed a state-level core group under the guidelines of the ministry of home affairs on the lines of the Unified Command of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir to tackle all forms of terror in the state. Accordingly, there has been an intensified offensive against Ulfa, the NDFB and the NSCN,” Dabi said. “The security scenario in Tirap and Changlang has showed signs of improvement with the recent surrender of NSCN rebels in Khonsa. However, the situation in East Siang, West Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, Upper Dibang Valley, Lohit and Papum Pare remains a concern because of the presence of Ulfa and NDFB militants,” the minister said. “As the home minister of Arunachal Pradesh, I prioritised the matter with urgency and sought help from Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi to destroy the hideouts in the districts,” Dabi said. “Gogoi assured all possible help from his side and considered a joint strike involving the forces of both the states and the army to tackle the rebels,” the minister said. Dabi said he had recently toured Mebo and the adjoining areas of East Siang besides Likabali area of West Siang, where the NDFB and Ulfa rebels were carrying out extortion activities, for taking stock of the situation. He said the cadres of these outfits were also smuggling timber from the jungles in Seijosa of East Kameng and the Balijan area of Papum Pare district. The home minister said the security forces in Lohit, Upper and Lower Dibang valleys, which have been the transit routes of Ulfa rebels, had been put on high alert. “The substantial presence of Ulfa cadres in East Siang, West Siang, Upper and Lower Dibang valley districts besides movements of NDFB militants in belts of Papum Pare and East Kameng districts have raised security concerns in the state. We are trying our best to tackle the menace,” deputy inspector-general, East, Tashi Lama, said. A police source in East Kameng district said NDFB rebels had intensified extortion activities and set up camps in Seijosa. He said the fact that a suspected NDFB cadre was shot dead in a joint operation in the Khanamukh area under Missamari police station along the boundary with East Kameng district on Tuesday indicated that the Ranjan Daimary faction was quite active in the area.

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