September 22, 2011
GUWAHATI: After Assam, Maoists have entered neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh and are starting a campaign against the hundreds of hydel projects that are being planned in the state, which has a high potential for hydro power.
A top security source in Arunachal Pradesh said chief minister Jarbom Gamlin is taking a tough stand to stamp out the growth of the Maoist elements in the state.
The presence of the Maoists in the state came to light when Arunachal Pradesh police, jointly with the Army and Assam Police, nabbed as many as nine rebels from Lohit district in the neighbouring state in the past few weeks. The revelation has come as surprise for security forces, who had nabbed these people in connection with an arms-and-cash loot case that was believed to have been pulled off by Ulfa cadres.
“What we found was that these nine persons were earlier engaged by Ulfa as carriers of food, information, medicine and men. But the interrogation reveled that they are members of a Maoist organization called Upper Assam Leading Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The arrested are all from Tinsukia in Assam,” the source said.
“They have already set up a network in Arunachal Pradesh, mainly in Dibang valley district bordering China. Their agenda is to provoke the locals against the power projects that have been proposed in the district. They are working over ground as anti-dam activists,” the source said. Some of the biggest hydel power projects have been proposed in the Dibang valley. The construction of these projects, however, has not yet been started.
What is more worrying for the security forces is that this Maoist organization enjoys the backing of the NSCN(IM) in Tirap district of Arunachal, bordering northern Nagaland, and also has good rapport with the Paresh Baruah faction of Ulfa.