Dispute along the border between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh has prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to deploy a central police force on an inter-state boundary.
The MHA said a battalion of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) would patrol the inter-state boundary to contain violence – on Wednesday, 10 people were killed in an attack over a land dispute – till the Supreme Court-appointed Commission headed by retired High Court judge Tarun Chatterjee submits it report, expected within a month, to define boundaries of the two states, in dispute since 1951, an MHA official said.
A senior official said they had intelligence inputs that killings in Assam had links with Maoist activities. “We have come to know that people killed were given assurance by Maoists they will help them claim disputed land in Assam. The other group from Arunachal Pradesh who came to know this planned the killings to thwart their attempt. Days ago, we sent additional forces sensing trouble. This is the first time in many years that the border dispute has claimed so many lives,” said a senior MHA official.
On Wednesday, 10 persons were killed and eight injured when an armed group from across the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary attacked a settlement inside Behali reserve forest in Sonitpur district in northern Assam.
Apart from this, an unmanned stretch of 50 km along Bhutan border, used by insurgent groups as an easy getaway, will be secured now. The SSB is set to be deployed between Bhalakpong in Arunachal Pradesh and Bhairabkunda in Assam along India’s border with Bhutan to ensure a curb on movement of militants, an official said. In the past two months, Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) is suspected to have killed three personnel including an Additional Superintendent of Police two days ago. On December 6, two SSB men were abducted and killed by militants.