Maoists trying to establish base in Assam, says CRPF

Maoists are attempting to establish their base in Assam and the hard line group of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), headed by commander in chief of the outfit, Paresh Baruah, has launched a recruitment drive, particularly in Upper Assam, according to a senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) official.

"There are specific intelligence reports indicating that youth from Assam are veering towards the Naxal philosophy, which is a matter of serious concern," said CRPF IGP (Operations) M P Nathaniel.

"With most insurgent outfits coming forward for talks, Maoists are trying to establish their roots in the State and we are keeping a close watch on these forces and ULFA cadre in the state," he added.

M P Nathaniel, who is in-charge of Upper Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, further said adequate measures are being taken to stop youths from being indoctrinated and the whereabouts of youths, who were reported to be missing when they went outside the state for getting jobs, is also being ascertained.

"As the peace process is on, the ULFA anti-talk faction is keeping a low profile but their recruitment drive, particularly in Upper Assam districts, is on full swing," he said.

Earlier on February 15, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said the first round of talks with the Centre was 'very positive'.

"We had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last evening at his residence in Delhi and we are happy with his approach towards resolving Assam's problems," said Rajkhowa, while expressing satisfaction over the government's response.

"The Prime Minister has assured us of an honourable and acceptable solution to the problems of Assam and our talks with him were very cordial," he said. "The prime minister also appreciated our initiative to come forward for peace talks and our resolve to solve the problem through dialogue," he added. (ANI)