NEW DELHI: Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag on Saturday visited violence-hit Assam as part of a stock-taking exercise.
Incidentally, the General’s visit came barely 24 hours after the Army had decided to intensify its operation against Bodo militants in the state.
And the Army Chief visited the 21 Mountain Division headquarters(HQ)in Rangia and held a closed-door meeting with officers to review the prevailing situation in the state, where 81 people had been slain by NDFB(S)militants.
General Singh also undertook an aerial tour of certain areas in Udalguri, Baksa and Chirang districts along the Bhutan border.
The Army has beefed up counter-insurgency operations, besides carrying out area domination exercise in the affected areas to stabilise the situation. However, it has not launched any fresh operation so far. The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief(GoC) of the 4 Corps, located in the worst-affected Sonitpur district, heads the Unified Command, which conducts counter-insurgency operations in the state.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Assam on Thursday had said the Centre would adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorists, while Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi urged the Unified Command to prepare a time-bound road map to eliminate terror groups such as NDFB(S).
The Centre has already sent 50 companies of additional forces including those from the Sashastra Seema Bal, ITBP, Central Reserve Police Force and BSF to help rein in the violence and to restore normalcy to the affected areas.
Although no incidents of violence have been reported from the state since Tuesday’s bloodbath, the exodus of affected families has continued unabated.
From October onwards, the Army has killed five militants of NDFB(S) group and arrested six suspected militants belonging to the same outfit. Moreover, it has managed to effect a huge haul of arms and arms from the ultras in the last four operations.
Since 1992, the Army had been carrying out anti-insurgency operations in Assam codenamed ‘Operation Rhino-II’ in coordination with the state police and paramilitary forces. And it has a strong presence in the state with three Brigades.