GUWAHATI, Oct 4 – The Maoist rebels are desperately trying to establish strong roots in Assam, not only to expand its bases, but also to bring in weapons through the porous international border with Myanmar. However, arrest of senior leaders from time to time has proved to be a major setback for the rebels. Highly placed police sources told The Assam Tribune that according to information gathered by the police and security agencies, the Maoist rebels have managed to set up three committees – Upper Assam Leading Committee, Lower Assam Leading Committee and Barak Valley Leading Committee. Of the three committees, the Upper Assam Committee is the most active.
Sources said that the Maoists are trying to infiltrate among the tea tribes in the districts of Sivasagar and Jorhat, and among the flood-affected people in Sadiya, Majuli and Dhemaji. The tea tribes are considered to be most vulnerable as they may be wooed by the Maoists because of the problems faced by the tribes. The slow progress of talks with five militant groups of tea tribes and Adivasi community is also a major cause of concern as the frustrated cadres of the outfits may switch over to the fold of the Maoist rebels. There are at least a thousand cadres of such militant groups sitting idle and the Maoists may try to use them. At least granting of status of Scheduled Tribe to the tea tribes, who are considered tribals in other parts of the country, will deter them from joining the Maoist rebels, sources added. Another major aim of the Maoists to establish base in Assam and other parts of the North East is to get access to the arms smuggling rackets.
So far, the Maoists are depending mostly on weapons snatched from Government agencies. But the inputs suggest that the Maoists are thinking in lines of bring in weapons from abroad and the porous international border with Myanmar is now the easiest way for doing so. Almost all the rebel groups of the North East are now bringing in weapons through the porous international border with Myanmar and the Maoists are eyeing the same arms smuggling route.
On the recent arrest of hardcore Maoist rebel Aditya Bora in Golaghat district, police sources said that Bora was earlier arrested in Jharkhand in February 2011. But after he was brought to Assam, he managed to jump bail and rejoined the rebel group. Since them he managed to evade arrest and tried to strengthen the organization in lower Assam. The Lower Assam Leading Committee is dormant after the arrest of key member Aklanta Rabha, while, the recent arrest of three rebels including a woman from West Bengal posed major setback to the rebels in the Barak Valley.