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Islamist militants form nexus with ULFA in northeastern India

Hizbul Mujahedeen, Neo JMB, United Liberation Front of Assam, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh

Counterterrorism

Islamist militants form nexus with ULFA in northeastern India

There is disturbing news about forming of a nexus between outlawed separatist group United Liberation Front of Assam, which has been recently known as Ulfa (Independent) or Ulfa (I) and notorious radical Islamic militancy group Hizbul Mujahedeen (HM) and fugitive members of Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) or Neo-JMB. According to Guwahati-based eminent journalist NJ Thakuria, the security forces in Assam has eliminated a top leader of the banned militant outfit United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) and also apprehended three armed militants including two rebels belonged to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (or Neo-JMB) from western Assam localities.

In a report published in India’s oldest newspaper The Organiser, Thakuria said: Ulfa (Independent), in fact, faced a major setback on Thursday as one of its commander level leaders Dwipen Saud was killed in an early morning encounter at Bongaigaon locality in lower Assam. The security forces also captured a rebel named Padum Rai with Saud from the venue of encounter at Besimari village under Manikpur police station.

Saud alias Ramen Nath alias Jishnu Asom (52), who hails from Duramari village under Sarbhog police station was killed with bullet injuries, said a statement issued by Assam Police adding that Saud joined the armed militant outfit in 1988 and was assigned to replace Drishti Rajkhowa, who had surrendered to the authority in last November.

“We had intel that indicated that Ulfa (I) western command was planning some high-profile kidnapping in collaboration with some other anti-India forces which now appears to be foiled. Today’s successful operation is due to high quality police intelligence input that worked out precisely for on ground action,” added the statement. Earlier State police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta informed that the police could get information last night that some insurgents, belonged to the anti-talk faction of Ulfa, were hiding in a particular house at Besimari village. The Bongaigaon district police chief Subodh Sonowal led the team in the early hours and finally succeeded in eliminating the militant leader at around 5 am on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in another operation with supports from central agencies, the Dhubri police personnel apprehended two neo-JMB cadres from Larkura area under Gauripur police station. One of them was arrested with four country made pistols and rupees one lakhs. The other one is an ex-MULTA rebel with a history of involvement in various extortion related cases in the locality. “Based on information provided by the special branch of Assam Police, one person named Mozibar Rahman alias Gunbar Ali (45) hailing from Larkura in Dhubri district was apprehended in the intervening night of 21 – 22 April,” said the statement adding that Mozibar admitted his association with proscribed organizations such as MULTA and JMB/Neo-JMB.

Later based on the inputs provided by Mozibar, a search was conducted in the intervening night of 23-24 April, where Faizar Ali was apprehended. Faizar has been actively recruiting cadres for JMB/Neo-JMB since 2015-16, claimed the statement adding that investigation also unearthed an evident nexus between local Jihadi cadres and members across the border that tried relentlessly to derail the peace and progress in the region.

The State police authority has appealed to all stakeholders in Assam to co-operate in its efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity. The authority specially appealed to the Muslim community and their leaders to come forward and assist in identifying the other members of this module so that all such radicalized elements active in the country as a whole could be brought to the mainstream.

Allegations by Assam police official

The State police chief has dropped a broad hint that a section of radical elements from Bangladesh is active to derail peace in Assam. Talking to the media here on Thursday, State DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said that some maulvis from Bangladesh do enter Assam with visas, violate visa conditions, and engage themselves in radical activities.

“Several such maulvi’s from Bangladesh have been arrested. Their activities are under our radar. We appeal to the respected Muslim community and their leaders to come forward and assist us in identifying the other members of the radical modules. We also appeal to them to help us bring to mainstream all such radicalized elements in other parts of the State and the country,” DGP said. ADGP (SB) Hiren Nath said, “In a joint operation with the Special Branch, Assam Police and a Central agency, Dhubri police apprehended two Neo-JMB cadres from the Larkura area under Gauripur police station.

One of the cadres was apprehended with 4 firearms and Rs 1.02 lakh fake Indian currency notes. One apprehended cadre is an ex-MULTA with a history of involvement in various extortion-related cases in the Dhubri district.

The official of Assam police did not specify as to whether those “maulvis [Islamic scholars] from Bangladesh” were members of Hefazat-e-Islam or Tablighi Jamaat, in my opinion, there is a growing nexus between Hefazat-e-Islam, Tablighi Jamaat, Hizbul Mujahedeen and several local separatist groups in India. There also are allegations of involvement of connections between such nexus and Pakistani spy agency ISI.

For years, ISI has been financially helping militancy and separatist groups as well as anti-India forces by providing them counterfeit Indian currency notes. Lately, Hefazat-e-Islam leaders, including Mamunul Haque were also dealing in counterfeit Indian currency notes, which had helped these anti-India and anti-democracy radical Islamists in making large amount of cash.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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