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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome signs

Despite apprehensions expressed by the police and security forces, the Durga Puja festival went off peacefully and the people of Assam could enjoy the festival with an open mind till early hours of the day. This is a welcome development and one hopes that this peaceful atmosphere will prevail in the days to come so that Assam can see light at the end of the dark tunnel. In fact the overall law and order situation in Assam showed signs of improvement in the past few months with the major militant groups keeping a low profile, but the police and security forces should not become complacent and they should remain vigilant to ensure that the atmosphere of peace prevails in the State in the days to come. Of course, the police and security forces achieved considerable success in the counter-insurgency operations in the past few months, which may have put the militant groups on the back foot, but the possibility of the militants striking back cannot be ruled out and the forces should not lower their guards after the Puja festival went off peacefully. The police and security forces must remember the fact that last year, the militants struck a day after the Dewali festival killing more than 90 persons and that was one of the most gruesome of the terror attacks in the State. For years, Assam witnessed a lull in terrorist attacks when the militant outfits try to regroup and the lull for the past few months should not make the Government complacent and a close watch on the activities of the militant groups should be maintained to ensure that no militant group is able to go for fresh recruitments and launch extortion drives to increase its strength.

The decision of the DHD(J), considered one of the most dreaded of the militant groups of Assam, to surrender arms to solve the problems through talks is a welcome development and this may isolate the militant groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB). The Central and State Governments must expedite the process of talks with the militant groups, which already signed cease-fire agreements with the Government to solve their problems through talks as amicable solution of the problems of these groups will definitely encourage the active militant groups to come forward for talks. The Government must realise the fact that signing cease-fire agreements with the militant groups alone will not solve the problems and the delay in finding solutions will only complicate matters. The delay in holding talks with the NDFB resulted in division in the ranks of the outfit and the anti-talk faction headed by Ranjan Daimary has now become a cause of worry for the Government. Similarly, the slow progress of talks with the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) strengthened the hands of the KLNLF in Karbi Anglong. On the positive side, the KLNLF reportedly sent feelers to the Government to express its desire to come for talks and the authorities concerned should take full advantage of the situation to bring the outfit to the negotiation table. ASSAM TRIBUNE

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