Bhutan Maoists infiltrating State

By Sanjoy Ray GUWAHATI, May 11 – Conceding that the infiltration of the Bhutan Maoists along the porous Assam-Bhutan border is on in an unprecedented manner, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has expressed concern over the possibility of the ISI and the insurgent groups active in the North East, including the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), cashing in on the Maoist infiltration to further their nefarious designs. Highly-placed sources in the SSB, which is entrusted with the job of manning the Indo-Bhutan border, told The Assam Tribune that the SSB, following some confirmed intelligence inputs about increasing Bhutan Maoists’ presence along the Assam-Bhutan border, has intensified vigil along the border.“According to our intelligence report, hundreds of suspected Bhutan Maoists have crossed the Assam border in the last few months and most of them have mingled with the local population of the border areas which are mostly dominated by the Indian Nepali population,” the sources revealed.“The trend of Bhutan Maoists’ infiltration seemed to have picked up, especially after the elections in Bhutan,” the sources opined. “On one hand, where there are possibilities of the ISI using the Maoists’ infiltration into Assam as a tool to dilute the relationship between Indian and Bhutan, and on the other hand the banned ULFA and other NE-based insurgent groups, according to our reports, are trying to use the Maoists’ presence in carrying out for subversive activities in the State,” the sources said, adding that the recent instance where two Bhutani Maoists’ were arrested in Nalbari district, has indicated that the Maoists are taking interest in Assam and have entered in the Indian domain via Assam border. Moreover, as the ULFA is facing the heat of a continued crackdown by the security forces, there are substantial chances of the banned outfit taking the help of the Maoists in adding teeth to its dwindling force. The Indo-Bhutan border, it may be mentioned, comprises a stretch of 699 km covering four States including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim.The sources further informed that the SSB, in a special move, is monitoring the activities of several hundred suspected Maoists, who are trying to settle along the Assam-Bhutan border.“We have kept them under surveillance and necessary action would be taken once their identity is proven,” the sources reiterated, adding that the process of identification is on.“At this moment, the scenario is not very sensitive but in the long run this might take an alarming turn,” the sources pointed out.“We have informed the civil administration about the matter and accordingly steps are being initiated,” the sources stated.(The Assam Tribune)

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