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Home > News > Report

Northeast: Gateway for illegal arms

July 18, 2006 18:33 IST

As the country gropes for an answer to 7/11, the northeast has once again emerged as a red spot on the radar of the security agencies.

"The terror network in the Eastern sector is much more alarming than the Western sector. At least in the Western sector, there is a security apparatus to confront. In eastern India, there is none and it is politically incorrect to do so," Lieutenant General D B Shekhatkar, who commanded the IV Corps of the Indian Army responsible for counter-insurgency operations in Assam told newspersons on phone from his home in Pune on Monday.

Alarmed over intelligence reports of possible strike by the jehadi groups in Assam, the security apparatus has already swung their crack team to find out whether the explosives that are regularly being used all over India, are going through the northeast.

"We are trying our best while increasing patrolling in all the vantage points," said Assam DGP Deepak Narayan Dutta to newsmen. But the security agencies are more worried about the fact that the northeast has become a major trade route for illegal arms and explosives.

"The general route of explosives is from Bangladesh-northeast-Nepal-Uttar Pradesh to the exact destination. There is a safe corridor with a particular section of the society involved in the whole operation," said a senior officer of the Military Intelligence.

Meanwhile the railway authorities have increased the presence of security personnel in the Guwahati Railway Station.

"Most of the explosives are either loaded or unloaded in Dimapur," said a senior railway sources at NF railway headquarters in Maligaon.

"So far no bombs by the Inter Services Intelligence-backed militant groups have exploded in the northeast. That itself is an indicator. They are trying to keep their sanctuary as safe as possible. With the gun pointing towards United Liberation Front of Assam and National Socialist Council of Nagalim, these operators are having a field day using the porous boundary of Bangladesh to their advantage," said a senior army officer posted at Rangiya.

"Most of the explosives and arms are unloaded in and around Siliguri and through Kakarvita region it finds its way into Nepal, and through the Maoist controlled territory it reaches the western boundary of Nepal with India where there is hardly any security, to re-enter through smaller towns of western Uttar Pradesh," the MI source said.

In fact General D B Shekhatkar said the problem in the eastern sector is far more serious than the western sector. "It has been going on right under the noses of everyone and no one seems to be bothered about the cross-border terrorism in Assam except for making some occasional noises," he added.


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