Red rebels in touch with Assam militants: MHA

KOLKATA: The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has alerted the state police about Maoists establishing links with militants in Assam.

The missive issued this week also states that the Maoists, who had a base in North Bengal earlier, are trying to revive it. Besides, they are trying to establish fresh contact with several Naxalite groups that had so far been dormant.

With the joint forces stepping up the pressure on the Red rebels in West Midnapore and Bankura, the latter are reportedly trying to find new areas of operation. Their presence in Malda and Jalpaiguri has already been traced.

The Maoists are now contacting militants in Assam and also looking for supply of arms, the MHA missive says. Maoist leader Kishanji recently proposed a three-month ceasefire, but a senior police officers feels this is a ploy to buy time as the Maoists' arms stock is dwindling in Jangalmahal. The communication says the Maoists could try to set up a corridor connecting North Bengal to Assam for supply of arms. Already, two Maoist "linkmen" have been arrested from Kokrajhar with AK-47.

The MHA has pointed out that the Maoists are trying to rope in former members of KLO and use them as conduits. It also states that the Red rebels may take advantage of the situation in Darjeeling and develop links with the tribals of the Terai-Dooars region.

The Centre wants the state police to step up vigil in North Bengal and keep track of Maoists travelling there. The SSB has been alerted to keep tabs on the movements of Maoists so that they do not go up to the border.