New Delhi: In the wake of banned terror outfit NDFB(S) increasing its violent activities in Assam, the Union Home Ministry has asked paramilitary SSB to begin undertaking special counter-insurgency operations in the state and check the actions of the group.
The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which is deployed in the state as part of border guarding duties along the Bhutan border, was till now largely concentrated in doing this task but officials said the force has been asked to create a Special Operations Group (SOG) in its battalions which will take on the NDFB primarily in the districts of Chirang, Udalgiri, Kokrajhar and Baksa.
The decision to deploy SSB in the interior forest areas to undertake counter-insurgency operations, sources said, is also prompted by the fact that two of the force personnel were recently abducted and killed by the NDFB (Songbijit faction) in December last year.
"The SSB troops have already begun undertaking deterrent patrols in the area and they are venturing out more than often for counter-insurgency and jungle warfare operations. The directions have been okayed by the Ministry of Home Affairs," a senior officer said.
"There have been encounters between NDFB cadres and SSB after this decision and we expect good results," the officer said, adding the plan was to increase the power and reach of security forces in these areas.
Since January 17, eight people, mostly Hindi speaking, were killed by the anti-talk NDFB(S) faction across different locations in the state.
The Assam police has also announced a total cash reward of Rs 95 lakh on 15 top leaders of the NDFB(S), including Rs 10 lakh on its Chairman and Commander-in-Chief Songbijit Ingti Kathar alias I K Songbijit alias Sarsingh Ingti alias Sangbijoy, who is a Karbi tribal.
The SSB squads, led by Assistant Commandant rank officers, will undertake joint operations with local police and Army including independent offensives, the officer said.