R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Feb 10 – The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today directed the police and security forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations to continue with sustained operations against the militants belonging to the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB). The MHA also said the forces should not be complacent with the recent success of the operations against the militant outfit as the top leaders of the banned militant group are still at large.
Highly placed sources in the MHA told The Assam Tribune that Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) RV Ravi and other officers of the Ministry today reviewed the security scenario and the success of operations against the NDFB(S) at a meeting with senior officials of the State Government, Assam Police, Army and the paramilitary forces involved in the operations.
The MHA is of the view that there should not be any slackness in the operations against the NDFB(S) as the senior leaders of the outfit are still at large and the weapon recovery in the operations was not up to the desired extent. There are apprehensions that the outfit can revive itself if the senior leaders are not apprehended, sources said. Sources said that majority of the weapons recovered are small arms, while, the militants managed to hide most of the sophisticated weapons, which is a matter of serious concern. All the militant groups of North East have been making massive investments on procurement of weapons and the NSDFB (S) is no exception. The police and security forces have been directed to launch an all-out offensive to recover the weapons of the outfit.
Sources revealed that according to information available, senior leaders including NDFB (S) chairman IK Songbijit, commander-in-chief G Bidai and a few others are abroad. Songbijit is in Myanmar, while it is believed that Bidai managed to escape to Bhutan. However, around 40 to 50 hardcore members of the outfit are still hiding in the jungles inside Assam and there is a need to intensify operations in those areas. Today’s review meeting discussed the problem of logistics faced by the security forces in launching operations in the dense forests. However, sources refused to divulge the details of the discussions on the issue.