Saturday, October 09, 2004

Bangladesh: Massive Troops mobilzation on Indian side of border

[On whether India will be giving any strong message to Bangladesh, which has been denying presence of training camps for militants, Patil said "we don’t think by using strong words" it could be solved rather there were diplomatic methods which could be used "very firmly and very correctly" without worsening the relationship to convey India’s concern.]
Copters, addl troops lined up for NESource

New Delhi, October 06: Concerned over the sudden upsurge in militant violence in Assam and neighbouring Nagaland, the Centre today decided to dispatch nearly 5,000 additional para-military personnel and deploy helicopters for searching insurgents as part of its multi-pronged strategy to deal with the situation.Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who paid a two-day visit to Assam and Nagaland to assess the situation after a series of bomb blasts that left over 60 people dead, discussed the situation at a high-level meeting attended by Army Chief NC Vij, Intelligence Bureau
Director AK Doval, Home Secretary Dhirendera Singh and other senior officials of his ministry.Later, Patil said investigations were on to identify those responsible for these acts of violence.Special Secretary Anil Choudhary said as part of the strategy to tackle the situation Government would strengthen and coordinate intelligence set-up, increase the presence of armed forces and activate the Unified Headquarters in Assam.

Choudhary told reporters 20 companies (nearly 2,540 personnel) of para-military forces, both BSF and CRPF, will be despatched in the next few days to Assam.An equal number of forces will be sent as and when they are relieved from other places such, including election duties in Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.He said the Railway Protection Force and Central Industrial Security Force have been asked to provide security to railway tracks and oil pipelines in the region, which require extra guarding.On the Intelligence front, Choudhary said the Unified Headquarters will be "activated" in Assam and meetings of strategic group, headed by State Chief Secretary, and Operation group, headed by Division Commander, of Unified Headquarters will be held on October eight.It was also decided that all the States will appoint a nodal officer of Inspector General rank to coordinate exchange of information and holding periodic meetings among the States to discuss the collected information, he said.

Choudhary said Intelligence Bureau has been asked to play the role of a coordinator for sharing intelligence information from various sources including State police and army.Small tactical groups, comprising people from all security agencies, to pinpoint the sources of such incidents will also be formed, he said.

Asserting there was "no need to press panic button" in the wake of these incidents of violence, Choudhary said "on the face of it" these blasts don’t look like being undertaken by the Naga undergrounds, but the needle of suspicion points towards ULFA and NDFB. Naga groups never target soft spots such as villages or ‘haat’ (small market places), they have undertaken acts against security forces and other armed personnel, he said.He said while in Nagaland "good and substantial" RDX between 10 and 15 kgs was used in timer devices, in Assam the blasts were triggered using "crude explosives".

On whether India will be giving any strong message to Bangladesh, which has been denying presence of training camps for militants, Patil said "we don’t think by using strong words" it could be solved rather there were diplomatic methods which could be used "very firmly and very correctly" without worsening the relationship to convey India’s concern.