BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, March 13: Adivasi extremists of the tiol Santhal Liberation Army are trying to regroup, latest intelligence reports have indicated. This is keeping security forces on their toes, especially in the four districts of BTAD where council elections are approaching. “We have observed heightened activities of Adivasi militants. Security forces are working to nip these in the bud,” said an army official. The NSLA stepped up activities after the December 23 carge by NDFB(S) ultras in which over 80 people, mostly Adivasis, were killed. The Adivasi outfit had been lying low till then, though the police had not written it off completely. In a joint operation conducted by troops of Agia Brigade under the aegis of the army’s Red Horns division and Kokrajhar police, three NSLA terrorists and an overground worker were bbed today from Kashiabari village under Gossaigon police station.
The bbed NSLA operatives have been identified as Sonyram Soren, Shivlal Hembrom and Dhub Kisku.
Soren is considered to be the right hand man of NSLA leader Framjeet alias Dadiya, the area commander of Kashiabari and is also the secretary of the platoon. He was trained at Tapu Sankosh river. His arrest is expected to provide information about other NSLA cadres.
A 7.62 mm SLR with magazine and 20 cartridges, two country-made pistols, a hand grede and other munitions were recovered from them.
The NSLA, army sources said, may try to disturb the peace during the BTC elections slated for April.
NSLA is a splinter group of another tribal outfit Adivasi People’s Army (APA), active among plantation workers in the BTAD.
The APA was floated by the 709 battalion of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to collect money through abduction and extortion. In January 2012, most of the APA cadres surrendered before the government, but a small section left APA and formed NSLA.
The NSLA has been blamed for several kidppings and extortion drives in Alipurduar and Coochbehar areas of neighbouring West Bengal.