Northeast militants have formed United Front: Manik Sarkar

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) India’s northeast region was under serious threat as several militant outfits had come together on a common platform called the United Forum, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said in the internal security meet here Wednesday.

“Reliable reports indicate that most of the northeast India insurgent groups, including NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura), have formed a common platform called ‘United Forum’, which might pose a serious threat to all the northeastern states and to the country as a whole,” Sarkar said in his speech at the conference of chief ministers.

Demanding additional central forces and strengthening vigil along the India-Bangladesh international border, Sarkar said: “The NLFT has as many as 19 hideouts in Bangladesh and these are located within 10 km of India-Bangladesh border. The militant groups are trying to make fresh recruitments.”

Appreciating the formation of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Sarkar, who is now heading the country’s lone Left Front government in Tripura, said some of the provisions of the NCTC amounted to encroachment upon the powers of the states even though the ‘Public Order’ and ‘Police’ is a state subject under the constitution.

“The encroachment upon the powers of the states cannot be acceptable. However, the state would welcome any initiative in the field of effective sharing of intelligence between centre and states, which is taken after due consultation with the states.”

Sarkar said the Tripura government had taken a major initiative in community policing by launching a programme called Prayaas in January 2010. Under this initiative, police officials interact with citizens of different strata of society at least once in every month in every ‘police beat’ area.

“The Prayaas initiative has been greatly helping in spreading awareness among the community which has, in turn, helped in bringing down the crime rate, especially the crime against women. The government is committed to further intensify these efforts,” he added.

To strengthen the intelligence network in Tripura, geo spatial satellite imagery technology for terrain analysis has been procured.

“There are plans to introduce more technical gadgets to strengthen intelligence capabilities of the state police,” the Tripura chief minister added.

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