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Cops seek people’s support to combat militancy in Assam

Guwahati: Police have asked villagers living in the bordering areas of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh not to panic due to the ongoing combing operations following the terror strike at Pengeri in upper Assam and sought their cooperation in combating militancy.

Following the ambush carried by Ulfa (Independent) and Manipuri militant groups at Pengeri in which three army jawans were killed, life at the nearby villages has been hit as combing operations carried out by security forces have triggered panic among villagers who are being allegedly harassed.

On Wednesday, hundreds of villagers of Lakiligaon in Sivasagar district were asked to assemble at a playground for several hours as security forces were conducting an operation in their village. Many complained of suffering losses and many reportedly remained hungry for hours.

Assam Police DGP Mukesh Sahay said, "The operation is not against innocent people but anti-national elements. So, villagers need not fear or panic. We seek public support to counter militancy in the state and in fact locals are helping us."

Reacting to the situation and the modus operandi in which villagers were kept away from their daily chores, the top cop added, "It's a normal exercise for the safety of the locals. When they were gathered in a particular area, it's easy to keep them away from any untoward situation. They were allowed to go after sometime." Sources said some youths from these bordering villagers have left their homes after the Pengeri attack and are yet to return. "Stories of alleged harassment by forces in the name of search operation are creating panic among villagers. Locals have stopped going to their paddy fields," a source said.

A farmer from Mulukgaon in Dibrugarh district has called off his daughter's marriage after search operations by security forces sparked tension in the area. The general secretary of the pro-talks faction of Ulfa, Anup Chetia, has appealed to the state government to ensure that innocent people were not harassed by security forces.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Cops-seek-peoples-support-to-combat-militancy-in-Assam/articleshow/55733458.cms