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ULFA faces the heat amid global terror crackdown

K Anurag in Guwahati | December 14, 2008 20:19 IST

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Apprehending trouble in its bases outside the country in the post-Mumbai scenario that has stepped up the crackdown against terrorism in South Asia, the banned United Liberation Front of Asom is trying to step up activities in Assam through smaller tribal militant groups promoted by it.
A highly-placed security source informed that post-Mumbai tough posturing against terror throughout the world would also have impact on activities of major terror groups in the North East including the ULFA which have bases outside the country especially in Bangladesh and are supported by 'jehadi groups' based in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In this situation, the banned ULFA whose commander Paresh Baruah and few other senior leaders are based  in Bangladesh, is expected to keep a very low profile to observe a tactical retreat for the time being and will use smaller tribal militant groups promoted and aided by it to strike terror in different parts of the state.

The Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front and Kamatapur Liberation Organisation are two prominent tribal militant groups which operate closely with the banned ULFA.

The KLNLF has its stronghold in Karbi Anglong Hill district of Assam while KLO is active in North Bengal areas and some parts of western Assam.

Meanwhile, police and the Army operating in Assam against insurgents are finding it increasingly difficult to detect and prevent strikes by militants in absence of operational coordination among security agencies in all the North Eastern States and the North Bengal area.

The security source said all the militant groups in the North East and North Bengal were now operating in coordination irrespective of their geographical locations in different states of the region taking advantage of absence of an integrated regional anti-terror establishment empowered to operate against insurgents smoothly in all the states in the region.

In the wake of devastating serial blasts in four districts of Assam on October 30 last, the strategy group of counter-insurgency's unified command decided to set up a common control room at the Assam Police headquarters to share intelligence. However, there is a need for region-wide coordination among all forces to neutralize militant activities.

The Unified Command that is in vogue in Assam follows is a joint operation and intelligence sharing  mechanism by the Army, Police and paramilitary forces.

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