Alert issued in Assam ahead of Independence Day

United Liberation Front of Assam is seen as one of the deadliest separatist groups in the northeast.

Updated: Aug 12, 2012, 13:38 PM IST

Tinsukia: Fearing possible attacks by the banned United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and other disintegrated groups, Assamese authorities have issued an alert in the state ahead of the country’s 65th Independence Day.

Tinsukia was among the several districts that were put under strict vigilance after intelligence sources indicated that ULFA militants might sneak in for carrying out subversive activities to make its presence felt in the region.
According to media reports, a group of ULFA militants have entered the district to carry out violent activities to disrupt the upcoming Independence Day celebrations.

Assam’s director general of police JN Choudhury claimed that the ULFA wanted to spread a feeling of fear among the people to enable to carry out their extortion attempts.

In the wake of the alert, commandos, snipers and police personnel have been deployed at key points and installations in the state. Barricades have been set up at night and vehicles are being thoroughly frisked by the police. Security teams are patrolling crowded market areas, while passengers are being thoroughly checked at railway stations and bus terminals.

Goalpara, Kamrup, Sivasagar and Dibrugarh are the other districts where alerts have been sounded.

The ULFA is seen as one of the deadliest separatist groups in the northeast, and a drain on the state’s resources. Separatist movements have riddled India`s remote northeast region for decades. Thousands have died in three decades of violence since ULFA was formed in 1979 in Assam, demanding independence from India, which it accused of plundering the region`s mineral and agricultural resources, but public support for the group has sagged recently.

Assam has been the focus of separatist insurgency for decades, but it has also recently suffered bomb attacks blamed on Islamist militants operating from neighbouring Bangladesh. Ringed by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, India`s northeast is home to more than 200 tribes and has been racked by separatist revolts since India gained independence.