Security has been tightened in all north-eastern States ahead of January 26, following the call for boycott of Republic Day by some militant outfits.
These proscribed organisations have also called for a general strike that day, saying that for the “exploited” people of this region divided along communal and ethnic lines, the Republic Day had no meaning.
After violent incidents, night trains in Assam have been cancelled until January 26. Armed persons suspected to be militants are said to be visiting educational institutions to ask the students to refrain from participating in the Republic Day celebrations. Security personnel have been deployed in large numbers in trouble-prone areas.
All vehicles are being searched at checkpoints. Special patrols are conducting surprise checks. The Republic Day parade will be held in the high security areas of Imphal.
‘PULF militant’ killed
Personnel of 33 Assam Rifles killed Mohammad Pheijiruddin (50) of Kwakta in Bishnupur district on Thursday night. However, the residents launched a protest and did not claim the body, alleging that he was dragged out of his house at 10 p.m. and shot near the gate.
The house was ransacked and Rs. 60,000 in cash was missing.
But the Assam Rifles spokesman said the deceased was a militant of the People’s United Liberation Front and a 9-mm pistol with two rounds of ammunition and a Chinese hand grenade were found in person.
Militants of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) are miffed at the Union government’s “lukewarm” response to the Assam government’s proposal to grant bail to their leaders, including chairman Arbinda Rajkhowa.
Discrimination, says ULFA
The ULFA alleged that the Centre was holding peace talks with some tribal militant groups by allowing them to retain their weapons, but asking the ULFA to lay down arms before talks. Though a new state, Telengana, could be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, the long-standing demands of the tribal outfits of the north-east region for separate States were cold-storaged. Some tribal militants had made their presence felt to remind the Centre that their demands cannot be pushed aside.