Guwahati: In a disturbing development in the already troubled north-eastern parts of the country, left-wing extremists are trying to infest the area in the garb of anti-hydel project activists.
This attempt by the Maoists is widely seen as a change in their strategy wherein they are desperately trying to get a foothold in the urban areas together with some of the terror organisations and with the help of Ulfa`s anti-talks faction.
Confirming the reports, Assam Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi has said that the state government has proof that Maoists were trying to gain foothold in the North-East by trying to organise protests against hydel projects.
It should be noted that earlier there were reports that the outlawed People`s Liberation Army (PLA) intends to form a `Strong United Front` against Indian government along with Maoists and J&K-based terror outfits.
The claims were made by the Delhi Police on Friday after the arrest of two “high-ranking militants” of the Manipur-based organisation.
The arrests, police claimed, helped in exposing the nexus between the PLA, which aims to liberate Manipur through armed struggle, and Maoists and their intention to form a "strategic united front" against their "common enemy - the Indian government".
The PLA had also provided logistics, training, weapons and communication system to the CPI (Maoist) and had twice trained their cadre in the jungles of Jharkhand and Orissa in 2009 and 2010 besides planning to conduct two more training camps for the Maoists next year, it said.
Giving credence to Delhi Police, the minister said that it has been found that the Maoists were opposing hydro power projects along the Assam-Arunachal border by raising ecological concerns, using it as a ploy to gain influence over the local populace, with the help of Ulfa`s anti-talks faction.
"Opposing mega power projects and gaining foothold among people is the new modus operandi of Left-wing extremism. We have evidence to substantiate that Maoists are looking to make inroads in Sadiya area of the Tinsukia district," Bordoloi said in Guwahati.
The growing presence of Naxals in the Tinsukia and adjoining districts of Arunachal Pradesh was a security concern, a senior intelligence officer was quoted as saying.
On pproposed government action, Bordoi said, "To counter Maoist influence, we are initiating developmental measures. We will install transmission line along the Dholla-Sadiya Bridge. This bridge over river Brahmaputra will cut down the travelling time between Assam and Arunachal."
Reports also suggest that the Maoists have started a recruitment drive to target the youth of the area.