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Afspa extended in Assam and 20-km belt of Meghalaya by six months

New Delhi: The controversial Afspa has been extended by six months in entire Assam and the 20km-wide belt in Meghalaya bordering the state with the Centre declaring that the “disturbed area” status, which has been in force since 1990, will continue.

In a gazette notification, the Home Ministry said the law and order situation in Assam has continued to be a matter of concern due to the violent incidents by underground outfits and during January-September 2016, different militant groups were involved in 66 incidents of violence in Assam which resulted in killing of 29 people.

“The militant outfits operating in the area continue to have been making constant efforts to regroup, re-strengthen and intensified their efforts for recruitment/infiltration of new cadres into the state and indulging in coercive extortion targeting businessmen, tea garden owners, contractors, commercial vehicles, timber smugglers, transporters and even government officials and politicians.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) has been formed in April, 2015, and two of its constituents viz ULFA(I) and NDFB(S) have been desperately making efforts to perpetrate demonstrative acts of violence and during the current year they have been responsible for 57 per cent of the incidents of violence and 84 per cent of the deaths in the state,” the notification, issued by Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Satyendra Garg, said.

NDFB(S) militants shot dead 14 civilians and injured 19 others in a busy local market on the outskirts of Kokrajhar town on 5 August, 2016, while ULFA(I) cadres also shot dead two Hindi-speaking persons in Tinsukia district and orchestrated five and two IED explosions in Tinsukia and Charaideo districts, respectively, on 12 August, 2016.

“Now, therefore, the entire state of Assam and the 20 kms wide belt in the State of Meghalaya bordering Assam shall continue to be ‘disturbed area’ under Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 up to six months beyond 3 November, 2016, unless withdrawn earlier,” it said.

The central government had first imposed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act — Afspa — in Assam by declaring the entire state as “disturbed area” on 27 November, 1990 when insurgency led by ULFA was at its peak.

The then Prafulla Kumar Mahanta-led AGP government was subsequently dismissed by the Centre and the President’s rule was imposed.

The Home Ministry’s gazette notification said ULFA(I) is coordinating joint action with other underground outfits, including NSCN(K) and KYKL, along Arunachal Pradesh-Myanmar border and with GNLA and HNLC along Meghalaya-Bangladesh border also providing training to cadres of KPLT/UPLA in its camps in Myanmar.

The Karbi militant outfits viz. UPLA, UKPLA and various factions of KPLT have been actively involved in extortions and abductions for ransom in the hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao; and the hilly and densely forested border areas of Assam provide an apt location for camps/shelters/ hideouts to ULFA(I), NDFB(S), NSCN(IM), NSCN(K), GNLA KPLT and several Meitei underground outfits and cadres of these outfits take advantage of crossing over to neighbouring states in order to evade security forces actions, it said.

Govt extends Suspension of Operations agreement with NDFB (P)

The Centre on Thursday extended the Suspension of Operations agreement with the pro-talks National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive) for a period of six months up to 31 December, 2016, reported ANI.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The decision was taken at a meeting of Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) consisting of representatives of Government of India, Government of Assam and NDFB (P) in Delhi.

According to Bussiness StandardBodo Security Force, a militant group formed in 1986 was the predecessor of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) and the current name was adopted in 1994. The militant group was first banned on 23 November, 2002.

The National Democratic Front of Boroland split in 2008 after Chairman Ranjan Daimary decided to go ahead with serial blasts. The decision prompted NDFB  Secretary Gobinda Basumatary to quit the organisation and set up NDFB (P).

Two NDFB(S) cadres apprehended in Assam

A joint team of Indian Army and police has apprehended two NDFB(S) terrorists in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts of Assam. The team launched an operation in the thick, un-hospitable jungles of Kakulong in Chirang districts and found out a camp site being used by the NDFB (S). While no terrorist of the group was in the site, a large number of items were recovered, indicating presence of terrorists not long ago. A rifle, some gun powder, clothes, sling shots, utensils and rations were recovered.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Kokrajhar, the apprehended terrorist was identified as Janak Brahma, in possession of a Pistol and some ammunition. In Chirang, a terrorist identified as Sobhaigo Mushahary was apprehended. This terrorist had been in close contact with top NDFB(S) leaders and was providing them crucial logistics support and early warning of troops’ movement. Both these terrorists were involved in extortion activities and other subversive activities.

Hanamanthappa ‘highly-motivated’, served in ‘difficult, challenging’ areas, says officer

New Delhi: Army man Hanamanthappa Koppad, who survived for six days buried under tonnes of snow in the Siachen Glacier, is a highly-motivated soldier and has served in difficult and challenging areas for most of his 13 years in the army.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. IBNLiveLance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. IBNLive

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. IBNLive

Describing him as a “highly-motivated and physically fit” 33-year-old soldier, a senior officer said Koppad — who was enrolled in 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment on 25 October 2002 — had displayed remarkable initiative.

“He has served for 10 years in difficult and challenging areas out of his 13 years of service,” he said.

Lance Naik Koppad has served in Mahore in Jammu and Kashmir from 2003 to 2006 where he was actively involved in
counter-insurgency operations.

He again volunteered to serve with 54 Rashtriya Rifles (Madras) in Jammu and Kashmir from 2008 to 2010 and displayed indomitable courage in fighting terrorism.

Koppad also volunteered to serve in the North-East from 2010 to 2012 where he actively participated in successful
operations against NDFB and Ulfa.

He was serving in the super high-altitude areas of Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir from August last year and was chosen for deployment at one of the highest posts at an altitude of 19,600 feet since December, where personnel have to encounter temperatures of below minus 40 degrees Celsius and winds of up to 100 kmph.

Koppad was rescued on Monday from an altitude of 20,500 feet by a team of over 150 soldiers and two canines.

PTI

Siachen miracle: Lance Naik Koppad had served in ‘difficult, challenging’ areas, says senior officer

Army man Hanamanthappa Koppad, who survived for six days buried under tonnes of snow in the Siachen Glacier, is a highly-motivated soldier and has served in difficult and challenging areas for most of his 13 years in the army.Describing him as a “highly-motivated and physically fit” 33-year-old soldier, a senior officer said Koppad — who was enrolled in 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment on October 25, 2002 — had displayed remarkable initiative.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He has served for 10 years in difficult and challenging areas out of his 13 years of service,” he said.Lance Naik Koppad has served in Mahore in Jammu and Kashmir from 2003 to 2006 where he was actively involved in counter-insurgency operations. He again volunteered to serve with 54 Rashtriya Rifles (Madras) in J-K from 2008 to 2010 and displayed indomitable courage in fighting terrorism.Koppad also volunteered to serve in the north-east from 2010 to 2012 where he actively participated in successful operations against NDFB and ULFA. He was serving in the super high-altitude areas of Siachen Glacier in J-K from August last year and was chosen for deployment at one of the highest posts at an altitude of 19,600 feet since December, where personnel have to encounter temperatures of below minus 40 degrees Celsius and winds of up to 100kmph.Koppad was rescued yesterday from an altitude of 20,500 feet by a team of over 150 soldiers and two canines.