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N-E states to launch joint op against militants

Karimganj (Assam): The police of Tripura and Mizoram have decided to launch a joint operation to flush out militants from areas bordering south Assam, officials said today.

DIGs of Tripura and Mizoram, Gaurav Tripathi and C Zoramna respectively, agreed at a recent meeting at Kanchanpur in North Tripura that they would hold joint exercises and the next move against extremism and cross border crimes would be coordinated with Assam.

"Since Barak Valley shares border with Mizoram and Tripura, we are always in touch with police administration of Kolasib in Mizoram and North Tripura in our operations against militants," DIG of South Assam Binod Kumar said.

"Any operation involving Assam would be fruitful in tackling militancy and other crimes," he added.

During the joint operations, the target would be the hideouts and bases of militant groups along the border areas on the basis of shared information, sources said.

In remote areas of the three states, like south of Hailakandi and Karimganj districts in Assam, breakaway groups have cropped up and were extorting people, the sources said.

It is often reported that North-East based extremists continue to operate in Chittagong Hills Tract in Bangladesh and use the Tripura-Assam-Mizoram corridor for their movement to Myanmar, now a favourite destination for them.

The routes and corridors have been identified and only a combined operation can block their movement, they said.

Besides tackling the extremists, other inter-state crimes such as hijacking of vehicles from highways, smuggling of fake currency notes, contraband goods and human trafficking could also be tracked in the operation.

Joint operations between Assam and Manipur had been successful in the past in containing movement of ultra Meitei groups, PLA, UNLF, KCP and Prepak militants.

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