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Jihadis infiltrating North-east: Official
November 02, 2006 16:30 IST
Last Updated: November 02, 2006 16:33 IST
Jihadis from Bangladesh are "exporting" Muslim fundamentalism and terrorism to the North-east with the Jamatul Mujahideen playing a key role in such activities, a senior Assam Police official said in Guwahati on Thursday.
Jihadi and other foreign elements had infiltrated into the region and had been active in Assam since 1994, when youths from the state were sent to the neighbouring country for training in terror camps, Inspector General of Police (Special Branch) Khagen Sarma told reporters.
Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence is supporting the jihadis to destabilise the nation, he said.
After Bangladeshi Muslim militants were unable to go to Afghanistan following the installation of a civil government there, these elements turned their attention to the North-east, Sarma said.
These elements, who triggered a series of blasts on August 17 last year in Bangladesh, are now working under the Jamatul Mujahideen that has the responsibility of operational control of jehadis in the North-east, he claimed.
Asked about groups harbouring jehadis in Assam, Sarma said, "The number of organisations is not material, but the jihadis are working under the umbrella of the Jamatul Mujahideen. The recruitment of jihadis in the state is an ongoing process."
Since 2001, at least 198 jihadis were arrested and another 58 surrendered in Assam.
The export of Muslim fundamentalism and terrorism to the North-east, with focussed attention on the role of foreign agencies and the problem of cross-border insurgency, were among the concerns discussed at a two-day annual conference of Director Generals of Police and Inspector Generals of Police of region that ended Thursday.
During the last two months, two Bangladeshi Jamatul Mujahideen activists were arrested -- Badrul Alam in West Bengal and Habibur Rahman at Rangiya in Assam, Sarma said.
Asked about link between jihadis and madrasas, he said, "They may have links in some way, somebody may enter (madrasas) to take cover. But that does not mean the madrasas or their managing committees are involved. Some madrasas are under surveillance as some people in their locality are involved (in terrorism)."
Referring to Myanmar, Sarma said, "Intelligence inputs suggest that Myanmar is a source of illegal arms. We will approach the Centre for a joint operation there.
"The ULFA is not regrouping in Bhutan (after Operation All Clear by the Royal Bhutan Army three years ago) but may be developing some shelter there," he said.
The problem of cross-border insurgency with special reference to Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar, besides the insurgency problem in North-east and north Bengal, were discussed at the conference, Assam Police chief Deepak Narayan Dutta told the media after the meet.
The meet deliberated on the inter-state ramifications of insurgency and the army interacted with state police chiefs to evolve effective strategies to deal with the problem in the region, Dutta said.
Community policing, youth unrest, need for community education by police, setting up of women and children protection units in police stations and rehabilitation of militants who surrender were also discussed, he said.
The conference focussed on the need for better inter-state police coordination and sharing of real time intelligence to deal with organised crimes.
It also reiterated the need for strengthening the intelligence gathering machinery for effective policing and suggested the constitution of a standing committee on terrorism, militancy and insurgency at the national level, he said.