Calcutta, Aug. 27: At least 25 Kamtapur Liberation Organisation militants are believed to be involved in the August 17 strike on the CPM office in Dhupguri that left five dead and 13 wounded.
Inspector-general of police (law and order) Chayan Mukherjee said the attack must have been the handiwork of an organised gang comprising over a couple of dozen well-trained KLO and Ulfa extremists.
“We have come to know during the course of the interrogation of those arrested that the KLO activists have regular contacts with the Ulfa extremists and many of them have been intensively trained on the use of sophisticated arms in the Ulfa camps,” he said.
Mukherjee said West Bengal police have contacted their counterparts in Assam for joint raids at suspected hideouts in both states. “We are regularly interacting with senior police personnel of Assam so that those who have taken shelter there after the Dhupguri killings can be nabbed without delay,” he added.
According to state home department sources, training camps of the Ulfa militants in Bhutan are being shifted to a different base despite assurances from the government of the Himalayan kingdom that they are withdrawing from the country.
“The number of camps where training is imparted to the KLO militants by Ulfa cadets is actually not coming down. Only a joint operation by security forces from Bengal and Bhutan can yield positive results,” the sources added.
Out of the 15 arrested from Jalpaiguri, only two persons, who were picked up yesterday, were directly involved in the August 17 strike, said sources.
According to officials, Subhas Roy, arrested from Rajganj in Jalpaiguri, is a KLO activist while Mrittunjoy Rava, picked up from Barobhisa on the Assam border, is an Ulfa cadet.
“Both the militants were produced in court today and have been remanded in custody for 10 days,” Mukherjee said. A team of intelligence officials from Calcutta will question them, he added.
“We are convinced that marathon interrogation of the two extremists will provide us with major leads,” the inspector-general said. Eleven police stations in Jalpaiguri and four in Cooch Behar have been identified as major hideouts of KLO activists in the state. Security has been reinforced in these areas after the Dhupguri attack, added Mukherjee.
Security around Jalpaiguri has been stepped up in connection with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s rally at Dhupguri on September 1.