R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Sept 23 - It is much more difficult for the police and security agencies to deal with jehadi groups than the “home grown militant outfits” and so far, there is very limited input available on the activities of the jehadi groups in Assam and other parts of the North East region.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that over the years, the Assam Police and the security agencies achieved considerable success in the operations against the local militant groups and the level of violence in Assam and most other parts of North East came down considerably. But the threat from jehadi elements may come as a new challenge and the forces will have to formulate strategies to deal with it, sources admitted.
Sources pointed out that though most of the militant groups of the North East have joined hands, their activities are confined to a limited space. For example, in case of Assam, the militant groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) and Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) now has the capacity to strike in a very limited area of the State.
Moreover, in case of the local militant groups, the security agencies are aware of the facts like the areas from where youths were recruited and even about the family members of the youths who joined the fold of the militants. The security agencies have a fair idea of the persons involved in recruitment of youths and about the vulnerable areas where the militants can strike.
Sources pointed out that in case of jehadi groups, the situation is entirely different as such groups are mostly inter-linked and they have “pan India and global presence. Such outfits help each other for achieving common goals and they frequently use the cyber space to indoctrinate youths.” A person can motivate someone staying in a remote part of Assam by sitting in Syria and though efforts are on to monitor the cyber space, it is not possible to ensure that all messages sent through the same will be blocked. The jehadi groups normally take advantage of local situations to motivate youths to join their fold and unless they indulge in any kind of violence, it is almost impossible to nab persons planning to join such outfits. If a person develops radical mind after reading the propaganda material circulated through the cyber space, how can anyone find that out?”
Sources admitted that arrests of Hizbul Mujahideen operatives in Assam could be termed as a major success for the police, but another threat is looming large as one faction of Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) has become closer to dreaded terror group Islamic State. The faction of the JMB called itself Neo JMB and there are inputs that the outfit now calls itself the ISBD (Islamic State Bangladesh). The possibility of the outfit trying to spread its wings to India cannot be ruled out.
Sources revealed that though the backbone of the Indian Mujahideen was broken after a series of successful operations in different parts of the country, there are reports that some of the members of the outfits escaped to Syria to join the IS. However, it is still not known whether any person from the North East joined the IS, sources admitted.