Two days after four Maoist leaders were killed in Sadiya in eastern Assam bordering Arunachal Pradesh in first ever major operation against Maoists in the state, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi [ Images ] on Friday said that the Maoists have already set up bases in all upper Assam districts and were expanding towards other parts of the state.
"Maoists have been setting base in the state for long and the state government has been maintaining that they are entering the state under various guises. The Centre too has also now accepted that the Maoists menace has extended to Assam also," the chief minister added.
Referring to Wednesday's encounter of four Maoists rebels in upper Assam, Gogoi said it had proved once again that the state government was correct in claiming that Maoists had spread their tentacles to the state.
He maintained that militant groups of North East, including the United Liberation Front of Asom and Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM, were coordinating closely and also helping the Maoists. "These militants are coming together now as their strength has diminished," he added.
The chief minister pointed that the anti-talks faction of the ULFA had on Tuesday spoke out in support of the Maoists, while reports stated that the NSCN-IM was training Maoists militants.
He, however, refused to quote any figure on the present strength of Maoists in the state and said, "They are expanding their activities and we are alert on it," he said.
The chief minister also maintained that the NCTC could be helpful in tackling the further spread of this problem, though he stressed on the involved of the state in all counter-insurgency activities.