Chirang (Assam): The Indian Army has confirmed the arrest of eleven militants of the banned National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in Assam's Chirang district.
It also confirmed the seizure of a huge cache of arms and ammunition during the raid and the arrests.
The militants were apprehended on specific intelligence inputs from the Panbari forest area of Chirang district. Two pistols, two improvised explosive devices (IED) and nine detonators among other arms and ammunition were recovered from the rebels.
The NDFB is fighting for a separate homeland for indigenous Bodo tribesmen claiming that the tea-growing state has been flooded with outsiders.
"This is the latest apprehension. The arrests are results of our offensive operations. We will continue the combing operations in the region," said Colonel DS Rana.
Assam is one of the seven states that make up India's remote Northeast, home to more than 200 tribes and dozens of insurgencies, some seeking greater autonomy and others secession.
The region has trailed the rest of India in economic development and the gap has widened in recent years, fuelling discontent. Residents accuse the central government of plundering the natural resources while ignoring development.
India has intensified army operations to hunt down tribal militants in Assam after rebels killed at least 80 people last December, the deadliest in the remote area in years.
India has also sought cooperation from Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh in the offensive against the tribal militants.
Assam has a history of sectarian bloodshed and armed groups fighting for secession from India.