R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Aug 31 – The Maoist rebel groups have started eyeing the North East region yet again after managing to regain their bases in Jangalmahal area of West Bengal and senior Maoist leader Kishenji has already made efforts to establish links with the anti-talk faction of the United liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).
Highly placed official sources in New Delhi told The Assam Tribune that previous attempts by the Maoist rebel groups to establish strong roots in the North East region failed , but the organizations have started making fresh efforts after a number of militant outfits came over ground to hold peace talks with the Government of India for political solution of the issues.
Sources said that according to information available, some "modules" of the Maoist groups have started working in the North East region, particularly in Assam. "We have got the names of some such modules, but we are not disclosing it at this moment due to security reasons," sources added. It may be mentioned here that the arrest of one Aditya Bora and two others in a camp of the Maoist rebels in a jungle bordering Orissa and Jharkhand a few months back exposed the existence of a committee of the Maoist rebels in Upper Assam.
Sources said that the militant groups of North East having shelter in Myanmar have already decided to come closer and if the Maoist rebels manage to join hands with them, the situation in the region may deteriorate fast. The Maoist groups have already signed an agreement with the PLA of Manipur and Maoist leader Kishenji has talked often about coming to same kind of arrangement with the anti-talk faction of the ULFA. Under the circumstances, the possibility of the Maoists coming closer to all the militant outfits of the region cannot be ruled out.
Giving details of the recent developments, sources said that the Maoists had tried to enter the region through West Bengal at one point of time. But in the last one year, the Maoist bases in Lalgarh and Jangalmahal comprising Midnapore and Purulia areas were smashed following sustained operations. Following the operations, several Maoist leaders were forced to move out of West Bengal and stayed in Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. But in recent times, the Maoist rebel groups managed to regain some of their foothold in Jangalmahal and Lalgarh areas, which may pose a threat to the North East in the days to come as it is easier to penetrate into the region from West Bengal.