Police bust jihadi training centre in Chirang, recover large weapons cache
Bongaigaon, Sept 19: Hours after security forces unearthed a large weapons cache of a suspected Islamist group in Chirang, DGP Khagen Sarma admitted that the threat from jihadi elements to the State is 'much bigger' than that posed by NDFB(S) or other militant outfits.
"As of now, the threat from jihadi groups is much bigger than that of NDFB(S). Islamic terrorists have different characteristics unlike other terrorist groups of Assam. They hire people and outsource their activities. Chirang district has been on their radar for a long time," Sarma told a press conference after a high-level security review meeting at the Kalaigaon army camp.
"They (jihadi groups) had an intention to do something in Chirang earlier when they started their activities in Barpeta and lbari district," he said, referring to the Jammat-ul Mujahiddin Bangladesh module busted a few months ago.
The State DGP's statement came a day after security forces, acting on a tip-off from a Muslim fundamentalist arrested on September 16, bbed another suspect which led to the recovery of a huge cache of weapons buried at Daukhagar in Dhaligaon of Chirang district.
"The apprehended person is Md Sayed Mia of Daukhagar. He led the police team to the backyard of his house from where police recovered eight handmade AK rifles and two handmade INSAS rifles. The weapons were packed in plastic sheets and buried in the backyard. Initial interrogation has revealed that the weapons were being used to train the cadres in the camp busted by police two days back in Daukhagar," said BTAD IGP LR Bisnoi.
Police have collected mes of the ten persons who were undergoing training in the village, but all of them had disappeared even before the police team reached the village.
The police is yet to ascertain whether Friday's recovery and the training camp in Daukhagar village have links to any Jammat-ul Mujahiddin Bangladesh module.
Today's security meeting was attended among others by GoC 4 Corps Lt. Gen Sarath Chand, ADGP (law and order) RM Singh, SSB DIG Amit Kumar and CRPF DIG NG Vardwaj. The meeting reviewed the ongoing operations of the Unified Command against NDFB(S) in the northern part of Chirang district.
Lt Gen Sarath Chand said tremendous success has been achieved since security forces under the Unified Command launched a massive operation against NDFB(S) in January last. Approximately 4,000 troopers are engaged in the operation.
"As a result of these sustained and surgical intelligence based operations, 18 militants were neutralized and 539 apprehended. We have also recovered 175 assorted weapons, 180 hand gredes and seven IEDs. Only a few of them are on the run now…They too will be bbed soon," Lt Gen Chand said.
DGP Sarma said there was a time when the security forces had to deal with more than 500 NDFB(S) cadres. "Now, their strength has come down to 20-25. We are now looking for Bidai. He is hiding somewhere outside the State and has not returned since January," Sarma said.
A statement issued by defence spokesman Lt Col Suneet Newton in the evening said the Centre is also closely monitoring the situation and that there would be no let-up in the operations till the Bodo rebel outfit is completely neutralised.