GUWAHATI: Several insurgent outfits of the Northeast gave a joint call for the boycott of Republic Day celebrations in the region and urged people to stay indoors even as the Assam Police said they were all charged up to take on the militants and thwart any subversive activities.
“As India’s celebration of Republic Day is a stark reminder of colonisation of the region by India, we ought to dissociate ourselves from it…We, the fraternal organisations, have decided that the region should collectively boycott the Indian Republic Day,” a joint statement of the outfits said.
They include United Liberation Front of Assam (Paresh Baruah faction), Coordination Committee (CorCom), which is a conglomerate of some Manipuri insurgent groups, and two other outfits of Meghalaya. They appealed to people to boycott the celebrations by staying at home to ensure a total shutdown.
The insurgents are known to carry out subversive activities in the lead upto R-Day and Independence Day celebrations. But the police in Assam are least perturbed.
“We are trained to fight, prepared to fight; we live to fight and love to fight. We accept their challenge. We have done so for the last 32 years. So, we are ready to fight them,” Assam’s director general of police Mukesh Sahay asserted.
Asked about the operations along Assam-Arunachal border following Sunday’s ambush by the militants that claimed the lives of two Assam Rifles jawans and the subsequent gunning down of two militants by the security forces in a firefight, he said the operations were continuing on both sides of the border.
“The operations are going on intensively in the deep jungles of Assam as well as Arunachal. In Arunachal, they are being carried out by police and Assam Rifles. In Assam, police, paramilitary forces and army are conducting the operations,” Sahay said.
The two insurgents, gunned down by the security forces on Sunday, were Manipuris. This was for the first time that insurgents from Manipur died in a firefight with the security forces in Assam.
Sahay said militants belonging to CorCom had carried out Sunday’s ambush on a road opening party (ROP) of Assam Rifles and they were possibly backed by the SS Khaplang faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) and the Paresh Baruah faction of ULFA.