Northeast on alert ahead of I-Day, trains cancelled

August 11th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala/Guwahati, Aug 11 (IANS) A high security alert has been sounded across the militancy-hit northeast region apprehending terrorist violence ahead of Independence Day, officials said here Monday. “For security reasons, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), which has been operating railway services in the northeast and parts of West Bengal, has either cancelled or suspended or rescheduled night running trains from Tuesday to Saturday,” said Ashutosh Swami, general manager (operations) of NFR.

An official release of the NFR said: “In view of security for the passengers as well as trains, 56 trains have been either suspended or cancelled or rescheduled in the northeastern region, mostly in Assam.”

Security forces have been put on maximum alert across the region and additional paramilitary troopers and state security personnel have been deployed to thwart possible strikes by extremist, officials told IANS.

Security forces, accompanied by bomb squads and dog squads last week launched search operations at the airport, hotels, bus terminus, major markets and national highways besides crowded and mixed populated areas, they added.

Meanwhile, two powerful improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered from a bus and a bunker, which was used by militants and busted by security forces in Assam during patrolling Sunday.

“The IEDs were recovered from a bus at Jhokabhangi in Dhubri district by security forces during routine patrolling while security personnel carrying out a search operation to nab a United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) militant, suspected to be hiding in the area, came across a concrete bunker inside a bamboo grove at Pakamara village in Baksa district,” Assam police spokesman B.J. Mahanta said.

Tripura police spokesman Nepal Das said: “The central and state security forces have intensified counter-insurgency operations across the state, specially in the militancy prone areas.”

As in previous years, nine banned militant outfits of the northeastern region have reportedly called for the boycott of the Independence Day celebrations Aug 15 to protest against the Indian establishment.

The rebel groups, active in Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, have called a 17-hour general strike Friday.

According to a central home ministry report, 22 militant outfits are operating in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Mizoram.

“Of the 22 outfits, 13 rebel groups have been declared ‘unlawful associations’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967,” the report says.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |