|A Durga idol in Guwahati. Picture by UB Photos
Silchar, Oct. 8: Police and the BSF have been placed on “high alert” in Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi by the Assam government’s home department against any possible attempt at fomenting trouble by Bangladesh-based Islamic fundamentalist outfits during Durga Puja in the Barak valley.
The alert by the home department and the BSF headquarters in New Delhi in this regard was issued recently as a series of intelligence inputs were received by both New Delhi and Dispur highlighting the threat during the Puja days.
Cachar deputy commissioner G.M. Hazarika and a senior official of the BSF in the rank of a DIG today confirmed the development.
Hazarika, who was in Guwahati and was scheduled to return tomorrow, decided to fly back today in view of the desecration of a Durga idol in Silchar this morning.
The idol near Silchar railway terminus station was found broken with its hand and skull razed early this morning.
South Assam’s deputy inspector-general (DIG) of police Vinod Kumar today said policemen were rushed to the site of the pandal of the Second Rail Gate Sarbajanin Puja Committee.
Tension mounted in the wake of this act. Irate locals set up a blockade on the road leading to Karimganj on National Highway 53, but the police were able to convince them to lift it after they promised stern action against the mischief mongers.
Kumar said the situation at present is normal, and a large contingent of the police and CRPF had been deployed there.
Official sources here said the alert was also sounded in Tripura where the desecration of Durga idols in a series of bomb blasts in Agartala in 2008 had led to much tension.
Intelligence agencies in the Barak districts have identified some underground Islamic fundamentalist groups, which have teamed up with similar outfits in Barak and Brahmaputra valleys in Assam to foment trouble.
One such outfit, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) of Bangladesh, has sought to swamp the adjoining nation with a blatantly pro-Islamic mind set.