Guwahati: Hindu and Muslim religious fundamentalists have their presence in Assam, but are not seen to be active in the state, Director General of Police Khagen Sarma said today.
“In Assam, we have got fundamentalists of both sides. Both sides are working very hard,” Sarma told reporters here, but added that “We have not seen their activities here” when asked if the religious fundamentalists were a threat to the state.
Noting that small forms of pan-Islamic outfits such as Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen of Pakistan were occasionally seen in the state, the DGP said that prompt action had been taken against them.
When action was taken against the JMB by the government in Bangladesh, some of its elements fled to Assam and set up bases in lower Assam and Bengal, Sarma said.
On the difference in the methodology of operation by militant and fudamentalist groups, the DGP said, “Ethnic and other militants come and immediately unleash their violence. Religious fundamentalists prepare and take a long time to commit crime.”
Asked if the recent incident in Dhubri district near a temple involving groups from two religions was related to fundamentalist activities, Sarma said, “We are trying to find out if they were innocuous or intentional”.
Trouble had erupted following an incident near a temple at Kalowal Bazar in Dhubri district on September 26 night leading to imposition of curfew in the area.
Without elaborating, the top police official also said, “The ULFA (Independent) is in contact with Pakistan’s ISI which is ready to help the insurgent outfit by giving cadres from outside.”
The disappearance of over 1,500 children from Assam between 2011 and 2012 was another major issue of concern for the state police, the DGP said.
“Many of them have been taken outside the state as child labourers. But religious indoctrination of these children have also started in some places,” Sarma said.
“Interest is in age group of 10 years to 15 years children as they can be motivated and even made into suicide bombers”, he said.
The State Crime Records Bureau latest data showed that 1,071 female and 494 male children had gone missing in Assam in 2011-2012 and most were living in sub-human condition somewhere in north India as prostitutes, domestic helps or underage wives in some states.