KOLKATA: Security has been beefed up along the Coochbehar sector of Indo-Bangladesh border with inputs received from Guwahati frontier of BSF stating that five heavily-armed militants of Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) are trying to infiltrate India through the riverine border in Coochbehar to inflict a major terror attack in north Bengal or Assam during Republic Day celebrations.
KLO is an insurgent group seeking to carve out a separate Kamtapur nation of Rajbongshi people comprising districts of north Bengal and western Assam. A constituent of northeast insurgents’ umbrella group United National Liberation Front of Western Southeast Asia (UNLFWSA), KLO is a close associate of ULFA and has a history of striking during Independence and Republic Day celebrations.
Inputs by BSF Guwahati frontier states that five KLO militants are trying to enter India from Rangpur region of northern Bangladesh through Mansai river along West Bengal-Assam border and have automatic rifles and hand grenades with them.
BSF sources revealed KLO is on the backfoot over the past few years due to arrests of its top leadership and is being supported by ULFA and Pakistan’s Inter State Intelligence (ISI) to inflict a major strike in Coochbehar, which connects ‘mainland’ India with northeast, to deal a psychological blow to India even as Pakistan is conducting cross-border ceasefire violations along the Line of Control.
According to BSF North Bengal frontier PRO DIG C L Belwa, security has been doubled in the Coochbehar sector of the Indo-Bangladesh border and patrolling has been increased on Mansai river after the alert. Additionally, sources revealed that district police has established several check-points throughout major roads and are frisking individuals and searching vehicles.
The security alert of infiltration through Bangladesh has also puzzled intelligence sleuths who believed that most of the KLO militants are hiding in Kachin areas of northern Myanmar. “We have had reports that KLO militants are sharing camps with ULFA in Kachin Independence Army (KIA) controlled regions in northern Myanmar. The KLO militants were believed to have been flushed out of Bangladesh by the Awami League government, which has shown a strong resilience not to give shelter to northeast militants. But with the input of infiltration attempt from Bangladesh, we fear that KLO may be trying to expand its influence and secure fresh recruits from among the Rajbongshi community in northern Bangladesh,” a senior intelligence officer said.
The scare of attack on Republic Day has caused tensions among the locals who have not long ago witnessed bombings, shootings and kidnappings by the outfit’s cadres.