The arrest of two Maoist leaders and four cadres in Barak valley recently is a significant catch in the backdrop of the Red organisation’s heightened activities in Tinsukia and adjoining Upper Assam districts as well as the Assam-Aruchal border in the North bank. The police operation came after reports of Maoist indoctrition meets in tea belt areas like Katigora, Udharbond and Borkhola in Cachar district. A number of tribal youths have already sent outside Assam for arms training. Two years ago, the arrest in Silchar of Anukul Chandra skar, then Maoist leader in charge of its NE wing, had revealed the contours of the organisation’s expansion into Assam and neighbouring states. It later on came to light that some overground organisations in Cachar had developed close links with Maoists; reportedly there was sizeable support for Maoists among a section of students and even the faculty of Assam Central University in Silchar. After the NDA came to power at the Centre last year, security forces have been putting the Maoist guerillas under pressure in central India, particularly in their stronghold Bastar. Top Maoist leaders shifted base to Andhra Pradesh, Telanga, Kartaka and Jharkhand. There have been scattered reports of Maoists setting up networks in the Northeast with ULFA(I), KRA and some Manipuri ultra outfits. But after the NDFB(S) massacre of Adivasis in December last year in lower Assam — renewed Maoist activity in Adivasi and tea tribe pockets as well as links with Adivasi outfits like AANLA — have been a cause for concern in the State. The Maoist leadership has been divided of late, though that has not deterred its cadres from carrying out several daring strikes against security forces in Chattisgarh this year. With the Central government massing forces for a second Operation Green Hunt, Maoists are likely to intensify efforts for more bases in Assam in the coming months.
Expanding Maoist footprints