| Ready for action
Jorhat, March 15: The Tinsukia administration has requested Dispur for 45 motorbikes to reduce response time during anti-insurgency operations after the latest security review pointed to a heightened threat perception in the border district.
Insurgent groups like Maoists, Ulfa’s Paresh Barua group and Naga rebel outfits are active in the district that shares a 240km boundary with Arunachal Pradesh.
Official sources told The Telegraph that the district administration had sent a missive to Dispur early this week through the Tinsukia district magistrate, requesting immediate approval of a proposal for urgent procurement of around 45 motorbikes.
Urging that the matter be accorded topmost priority, the missive said the district had limited road infrastructure in the rural and interior areas that greatly hindered free and quick movement of security forces, thereby hampering effective counter-insurgency operations.
“Delay in movement of troops because of infrastructure bottlenecks despite actionable intelligence favours the anti-national elements and hence, in order to boost the force response, about 45 motorbikes need to be deployed immediately in different areas of the district,” the missive said.
The letter said addition of the new motorbikes was expected to provide “relatively low-profile deep penetration and fast response capability to the operational units during counter-insurgency operations”.
It said after procurement, the new motorbikes would be handed over to police and deployed in various police station areas of the district. The police stations mentioned in the letter are Sadiya, Kakopathar, Tongona, Lakhi-pathar, Digboi, Margherita, Tinsukia, Baghjan, Dighaltorang, Barekuri, Buridihing, Jagun, Ledo and Lekhapani.
The missive also mentioned that a CoBRA unit had been deployed in the district and was operational in multiple locations. Joint teams of CRPF, army and local police were carrying out operations under the command of the Tinsukia superintendent of police, it said.
Sources said the request assumed significance as the district had been tackling the Ulfa menace over the last two decades and in recent times, Maoists, too, were trying to get a foothold along with insurgent groups from Nagaland, which are active along the border.
About five months back, visiting Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh had called for clubbing Tinsukia with the Left wing extremism-affected districts in the country so that it gets a package for rapid infrastructure development and enhanced connectivity.
Last year, the Maoists had served extortion notices to a number of people, including government doctors posted in the Sadiya sub-division on the north bank.
In May 9 last year, four Maoists were gunned down during an encounter in a village under Sadiya police station. Siddhartha Buragohain, second-in-command of the armed wing of the CPI (Maoists) in the state, was among those killed.
In Sivasagar, night curfew, along with Section 144 CrPC, has been imposed between 6pm and 6am for the next 60 days along the the boundaries with Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland to prevent movement of rebels and criminals.
Official sources said the order was imposed in areas under Haluating, Geleki, Nazira, Simaluguri, Sonari and Sapekhaiti police stations, adds PTI.