Jorhat, Sept. 11: Maoists plan to take the reel route to attract young blood to their cause in Assam.
Sources in the police said the Naxals were planning to target youths from backward areas of Upper Assam, especially tea gardens, by showing them propaganda films on Maoist ideology.
“Intelligence inputs suggest they will screen short films and distribute CDs to influence the youth,” a police source said.
The police headquarters (special branch) recently sent a directive asking law enforcers in the five Upper Assam districts to keep a close watch on areas where Maoist are trying to get a foothold, the sources said.
Five districts of Upper Assam have many backward and remote areas along inter-state boundaries where Maoist activity is slowly on the rise.
Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts share borders with Arunachal Pradesh while Jorhat and Golaghat share their boundaries with Nagaland and Sivasagar shares its border with both Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
According to the police directive, intelligence agencies have warned that Maoists are planning to show short films made in Naxal-affected states like Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha. These films will showcase their reasons for waging an armed struggle against “public enemies” with an appeal to youths to join the movement “against injustice”, a source said.
The police have been told to keep a close eye on all kinds of social gatherings in the vulnerable areas. Community halls or clubs belonging to workers in tea gardens could be places where such screenings could be done.
A senior police official said earlier there were reports that Maoist literature was being distributed, secret meetings were being organised and posters were being put up in some pockets but screening films is “something new”.
“We are maintaining a close vigil,” the official said.
The Assam-Nagaland border areas, in and around Merapani in Golaghat district, have also witnessed Maoist activities in recent times. The inter-state border, which is marked by hills and dense forests, suits insurgent activities.
Naga insurgent groups, Ulfa and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) have earlier set up hideouts in the area to escape the security dragnet.
Six persons, two suspected Maoists and four sympathisers, one of them a principal of a private junior college of Merapani, have been arrested since 2012 by police of the border town.