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Govt zeroes in on 19 groups planning post-Eid violence


Assam could erupt again, the union home ministry has warned the state government which has put 14 Islamic radical groups under watch fearing post-Eid violence even as it called for peace. Home officials said the Centre identified 14 organisations in Assam and five in Manipur that might whip up communal passions in areas beyond Bodoland, the tribal council where 78 people were killed after clashes broke out between migrant Muslims and tribal Bodos, who follow different faiths, on July 20.


Western Assam districts of Chirang, Baksa, Kokrajhar and Udalgiri make up Bodoland.


The recent exodus of people from the Northeast from various parts of the country is the fallout of the Assam violence. SMSes threatening revenge for the clashes forced thousands to flee jobs and head home.


The organisations include Muslim Security Council of Assam, United Liberation Militia of Assam and Islamic Liberation Army of Assam.


The groups identified in Manipur -- Muslims there are called Pangals -- are Islamic National Front, Islamic Revolutionary Front, United Islamic Liberation Army, United Islamic Revolutionary Army and People's United Liberation Front.


"We had a high-level meeting yesterday with the chief minister in which former police and intelligence chiefs were invited for inputs," a special branch (state police) officer said Monday. "The undercurrents of anger are very strong in minority areas, and we expect the worst," said the officer, who didn't wish to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.


New Delhi wants the radical outfits' sources of funds and weapons to be traced and details, if any, of these organisations understanding with groups such as United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa).


"We are trying our best to ensure there is no violence in the days to come. Let peace rule Assam from the Eid prayers," chief minister Tarun Gogoi said on Monday.


Ulfa, in an email to media houses, blamed unabated migration from Bangladesh for the violence. "We will not allow migrants to destroy future of indigenous people of Asom," chairman Abhijeet Asom said.


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