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Since 1st March, 1999
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KLO access to AK rifles worries cops

- Forces alert in Dhubri

Dhubri, Nov. 19: Security forces deployed in lower Assam districts have expressed concern after closed-circuit camera footage revealed two suspected motorcycle-borne Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) militants firing 50 rounds indiscriminately at three places near Chagolia inter-state checkgate of Dhubri district and escaping on November 13.

Security forces are alarmed because the KLO had been using small arms like pistols and hand-made revolvers, but camera footage captured in one of the firing sites clearly shows a KLO militant holding an assault rifle.

Dilip Adhikari, 38, was injured when two suspected KLO activists fired at him. He is now undergoing treatment in Bengalís Cooch Behar.

An intelligence source said though Ulfa has been lying low in these parts of Assam for the past few years for strategic reasons, it has been abetting small militant groups like the KLO, GNLA and Rabha Viper Army to keep militancy alive.

Anti-talks Ulfa and NDFB are the two outfits believed to have been supplying arms to these small militants groups, the source said.

KLO militants having access to sophisticated arms of the AK-series worried the police and security forces because Dhubri district shares an inter-state border with Bengal, where they can easily sneak into, thereby making operations against them difficult, the source said.

The source also said the KLO has made considerable inroads into the lower Assam districts, from Dhubri to Barpeta, and this came into light only after the killing of agriculture superintendent engineer Gadapani Pathak in May this year.

However, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts in Bengal remain the stronghold of the outfit, he said.

In connection with the firing on November 13, the police last night picked up Monoj Roy, a member of the AKRSU central committee, but reportedly had to release him this morning following a 24-hour Dhubri bandh threat given by the AKRSU district unit.

The officer in-charge of Golokganj police station, Rushtam Brahma, said Roy was picked up only to clear confusion.

Earlier, the outfit had been serving extortion notes to Dhubri businessmen and officials but since the past couple of months, it has been demanding money over phones, an intelligence source said.

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