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Assam CM threatened by fundamentalists
K Anurag in Guwahati | September 12, 2006 11:32 IST
Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi is perceived to be under threat from fundamentalist militant group Jamaat'ul Mujahedeen, which is based in neighbouring Bangladesh.
Security cover for the chief minister is being increased after central intelligence agencies alerted the state government about the threat posed to Gogoi by the JM, which may be in close co-ordination with fundamentalist militant groups based in Assam.
A source in the state home department stated that the chief minister was perceived to be under threat for his firm stand on strong measures to prevent upsurge of Islamic militancy in Assam, which shares porous borders with Bangladesh.
The chief minister reportedly admitted during the internal security meeting convened by the prime minister last week that jehadi elements posed a threat to internal security in Assam. He advocated strengthening of vigilance and intelligence apparatus in view of the threat posed to the state.
There were intelligence inputs that JM formed suicide squads to target Gogoi.
The personal security of the chief minister has been beefed up. There will be round-the-clock vigil by Special Security Group, comprising commandos pooled from Assam police.
The SSG will provide security to Gogoi both in the state and outside it. His residences in Guwahati and New Delhi have been fortified.
Visitors to his residences and offices will no longer be allowed to carry mobile phones. In fact, mobiles phones have been banned inside the entire state secretariat complex at Dispur in Guwahati.
The JM was formed in Bangladesh in 1998. It is suspected to be a front of Jagrata Muslim Janata of Bangladesh headed by Banga Bhai, now lodged in jail. The JM was banned in that country in 2005.
The group is notorious for its expertise in handling explosives. It allegedly triggered 459 blasts throughout 63 districts of Bangladesh on August 17 last year, killing two persons and injuring over 100.
JM is opposed to establishment of democracy and launched armed struggle to establish rule of Islam in Bangladesh. It is manned by about 10,000 full-time and about one lakh part-time cadres pooled from different walks of life.
Several political and non-political organizations in Assam have raised alarm about growing influence of jehadi groups in Assam, taking advantage of alleged unabated illegal migration of people from Bangladesh.
The North East Students' Organisation, an umbrella of all the top-line students' organisations in the region, recently submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Ministry with a note of warning that about 14 fundamentalist militant groups were active in the Northeastern states.
NESO demanded urgent action on part of the government of India to arrest proliferation of activities of these organizations in the region in the interests of national security.