KOLKATA: The Army which is currently engaged in conducting ‘Operation All Out’ in Assam has managed to track down fugitive National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) chief,I K Songbijit, in Kalchini area of north Bengal.
Songbijit,the alleged mastermind behind the carnage in Assam is said to have entered Kalchini in Alipurduar district from neighbouring Bhutan, after having fled his base in Kokrajhar district of Assam.
The Army traced him through his mobile tower location and found that he was somewhere in Kalchini area. On Saturday night, an armed gang had snatched rifles from two forest guards while they were patrolling near Balapara forest beat office near Kumargram in Alipurduar.
At least four relief camps have been set up in Kumargram for refugees mainly ‘adivasis’ who fled Kokrajhar after the massacre and sought shelter in West Bengal. The West Bengal Police has issued a red alert and, if need be, the Army would be called in to conduct search operations along with the local police and the Sasathra Seema Bal (SSB). A company of CRPF has been deployed in the area. The state government is worried as most of the Bodos in Kokrajhar are fluent in Bengali and can merge with the local population in North Bengal comprising Koch and Rajbongshis. One area of Kalchini falls within the Buxa Tiger Reserve and it is extremely easy for terrorists to hide in the dense forests there.
The Army had on Monday conducted search operations in the jungles but in vain.
Only half a kilometre away from these jungles is the Balapara refugee camp and the state government is worried since NDFB militants can easily carry out an attack there.
The NDFB anti-talks faction had carried out the mass killings of “adivasis” in Assam’s Kokrajhar and Shonitpur districts in which the death toll has reached 86.
Meanwhile, at Dhekiajuli in Assam, security forces arrested two linkmen of NDFB (S) which carried out a massacre of tribals in Assam on December 23.