In a major breakthrough, the Assam Police busted a suspected jihadi training camp at a village in Chirang district in western Assam on 18th September and recovered eight crude hand-made AK-47 rifles that were concealed in a pit.
While four persons have been apprehended so far, the police are looking for at least ten persons who were reportedly undergoing training there.
Police sources said that while three persons were arrested on 16th September following a tip-off that some people were undergoing arms training in a particular village, it led to the arrest of a fourth person. The fourth person then led the police to a pit behind a house at Daukhanagar village from where eight crude handmade AK-47 rifles and two Insas rifles were recovered, a senior police officer said.
Police in Guwahati suspect that some Islamic terror groups might have started recruiting Muslim boys in the districts of Chirang, Kokrajhar and Baksa with the intention of triggering fresh violence in the run-up to the 2016 State Assembly elections. The three Bodoland districts had witnessed several clashes between Muslim migrants and indigenous Bodo tribals in 2012 and immediately after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, leading to over 100 deaths.
The police said that they have collected names of 10 persons who were undergoing training at the village, but all of them had disappeared even before the police reached the village. The police also added that while some of the trainees were from Chirang district, a few were from other districts, adding that a manhunt have been launched to nab them.
It was in December last year that police had arrested one Sahanur Alom, an important Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operative from a village near Sarthebari in Barpeta district, not very far from where the training camp was busted on Friday. Alom, one of the prime accused in the Burdwan (West Bengal) blast, was a key person who had allegedly engaged in propagating jihadi ideology and carrying out recruitments in different districts in Assam.
The handmade AK-47 rifles were not just dummies that are generally used by different terror groups to initiate fresh recruits, but were crude guns that could actually fire and kill a person. A few days prior to the arms recovery from Daukhanagar, the police claimed to have also recovered several sets of camouflage uniforms from another village in the same area.