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Selvi word of caution

Guwahati, Sept. 20: Union minister of state for home V. Radhika Selvi today asked security agencies in Assam not to lose sight of fundamentalist groups while focusing on Ulfa.

The directive is in line with global intelligence analysis agency Strategic Foresight Inc (Stratfor)’s latest insurgency outlook for Assam. A report from the agency claims that Ulfa had been outsourcing its operations to fundamentalist terrorist groups and is planning suicide attacks across the state.

Selvi, who was given the Northeast portfolio in the Union home ministry only recently, met bureaucrats and top officials of the army, police and CRPF at Guwahati Circuit House for a briefing on law and order. “Basically, it was an acclimatisation meeting after having taken charge of the region. She was briefed about the status of counter-insurgency operations,” an official said.

The minister advised all security agencies to work in tandem to keep Ulfa from collaborating with “external forces” and destabilising the region.

Highlighting the prime area of concern for security agencies in dealing with Ulfa, Stratfor’s latest report points out that the two prime suspects in the recent Hyderabad bombings are from the Bangladesh-based militant group HuJI, which is known to have a working relationship with the Assam outfit and other militant groups of the Northeast. HuJI is also known to be in cahoots with Pakistan’s ISI.

Ulfa this evening denied having links with HuJI, as claimed by Stratfor. The banned militant group said it had never been involved with fundamentalist forces.

Emerging from the meeting with officials of security agencies, Selvi said the situation was under control and that all possible steps would be taken to stamp out militancy.

A DMK member, Selvi also spoke of emphasis on improvement of infrastructure along the border with China in the Northeast. The government recently approved the construction of 27 roads along the international border with a budget of Rs 912 crore.

The minister met Governor Ajai Singh and chief minister Tarun Gogoi separately. She will leave for Shillong tomorrow.

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